Sarah and I got in our truck on Wednesday morning and headed down the street. Instead of turning left and heading to the Emergency Room like we had done two times in the previous three weeks, we turned right.

We drove to Crema Brew, our favorite coffee house, marking the first time in almost a month where we went out in public as a couple.

That’s how long it took between the first sniffles of COVID-19, through days and days of bed rest and fitful nights, to symptoms subsiding and finally being declared recovered by our doctor.

We were told that we could come out of isolation 10 days after testing and 24 hours of being symptom-free, but it wasn’t that simple.

Technically, I could have come out of isolation 11 days after being tested. But my fever returned on day 12, continuing a roller coaster that lasted for more than three weeks.

At least I had respites. Sarah suffered through the entire three weeks and at two points, felt so bad and had such trouble breathing that we were advised to take her to the Emergency Room.

Both times, she was released a few hours later with prescriptions for steroids. It will be some time before Sarah can compete in the Olympics.

But even now, 26 days after the first sniffles, we are not symptom-free. We both have coughs that will last for some time, and diminished endurance. My hearing was affected, as well.

For now, I consider ourselves among the safest people in New Bern to be around. We have immunity so we are safe from you, and no longer have it so are safe to you.

But as far as immunity, it may just be temporary. You did hear that there have been cases when people caught it twice, right?

Here are some answers to questions I’ve received.

How did you catch it? Best we can tell, we caught it either directly or indirectly from the New Bern High School football team.

How did you treat it? Bedrest, lots of Tylenol, Claritin, lots of water, and getting on my feet as much as possible.

What was isolation like? I had a partner, my wife, and we live in a house large enough to keep our distance from the others living with us. We ordered food and groceries to be delivered, but more importantly friends helped out. They brought us meals and picked up prescriptions. Without that help, our COVID-19 journey would have been a lot harder.

Did you ever worry about dying? Yes, I worried about Sarah dying. I noticed that if you were sick for longer than 10 days, your chances of getting much worse and even dying greatly increase. It did not escape my notice that five people who tested positive the same day we did wound up dying two to three weeks later in Craven County.


  1. And the next question for me is, “How did this change you, if at all?” You report on some physical limitations, but do you see the world any differently after this experience? BTW, I am so freaking relieved you are past the worst of it. I was so scared. But I knew that Bob, Randy, and other heroes of Spencer St. would be there. I miss that .

  2. So how exactly is the sickness blamed on the NBHS foitball team? No contact with anyone ekse on planet earth?

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