A journal, Day 13: ‘Tiger King’ and feeling better

**Editor’s note: Target 8 investigator Ken Kolker was tested for COVID-19 on March 17 after returning from a conference where two participants tested positive and after coming down with coronavirus symptoms. This is the final installment in his journal.

>>Journal: Days 1-6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9

March 30:

First, “Tiger King.”

Just started watching on Netflix, so just don’t go there. No spoilers. Even after just the first episode, it appears the only good guys are the reporter and his photographer (isn’t that always the case?).

Starting to feel better today. The steroid inhaler and antibiotics are working. It wasn’t COVID-19 taking my breath away and sending me to the ER, as my doctor suspected, but “post-viral reactive airway disease” (crud is the real medical term).

Thank God for doctors and (as I’ll keep saying, underpaid) nurses and others on the front lines. Protect them and, if you see them, thank them from 6 feet away.

Learned a lot about COVID-19 testing, that the wait for the results has gotten so much better: From eight frustrating days to 24 hours. And a new test will get results in less than an hour. But there’s got to be more testing. How can we track a virus, determine where it’s spreading to keep resources going to the right place, if we don’t do more testing? How else can we trust any of the numbers? How can we really know if the curve is bending? The only numbers I really trust are the death numbers, and they keep growing.

Now that I know I don’t have COVID-19, what I do have (along with auto-immune issues and my age) puts me at higher risk for coronavirus, like so many others. So, as just about everybody else, I’m staying at home, moving from room to room, TV show to TV show. Trying to work from my “man cave.” Doing my part to bend the curve by not being part of the curve.

Finally, my short stay in Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital ER got me thinking about all the patients in there alone and scared, even if they don’t have COVID-19. They cannot have visitors. Same with nursing home patients. People are dying with nobody holding their hands. While I was in the ER for maybe three hours the other night, not knowing if it was COVID-19 leaving me breathless, my wife Hope sat in her car in the parking lot, crying. But we could at least communicate. Is there a way to get iPads into some of these hospital rooms and nursing homes so they can have virtual visits and see the faces of their loved ones? Trying to find a way.

Thanks again for the prayers. They meant more than you know.

Keep praying for the doctors, the (underpaid) nurses and others on the front line.

Here are links to other ways you can help: