Many people know, but I wanted to share, that I contracted Covid-19 after a short business trip to my offices in Knoxville, TN in late October.
After having lunch in our office with two of my staff, social distancing protocol observed, I began feeling ill and decided not to return home that afternoon as I was overly tired and did not feel like I could safely drive back to Georgia. Instead, I re-checked into the hotel and spent the night. I got up Friday morning and started the 3 hour ride home to Braselton. It was a hard drive but I made it and spent the weekend at home isolated from my wife, Garol.
By Monday, I had a sustained fever of over 100 degrees, Tuesday was over 102 degrees even when I took Tylenol. By Thursday morning my temperature was over 104 (104.7) degrees and my wife took me to the hospital. I was lethargic and had no energy to take medicine or converse. At Northeast Georgia Hospital in Braselton, I was taken into the emergency room, of course leaving my wife outside. They assessed me and swabbed my nose, and gave me IV fluids. My lung scan showed small blood clots (embolisms) they told me were created by the virusd. I was thankfully discharged that afternoon and monitored at home. I was given 4 prescriptions and the most important to me was the inhaler which seemed necessary every morning and evening.
The good news was that my fever broke Saturday afternoon and I began my recovery. I realized after the fever broke that I could not taste anything. I still have periods now when I have an overwhelming taste of smoke or no taste sensation except extremely sweet and salty. Now I can taste things with periods of the smoke taste overwhelming everything else. As I write this on 12/7 the smoke taste is back. I have been told that most people gain their taste back in 3 months. I hope so.
I am fortunate, Northeast Georgia hospital personnel were outstanding. I feel blessed that we have such a quality facility and quality staff in our Braselton community. Good news is that our staff in Knoxville did not come down with Covid. Bad news is that I really do not know how I contracted Covid. I have searched for an answer but I have finally given up trying to figure out how I contracted it.
Please take this threat seriously as you travel and entertain over the holidays! It is real and while many have mild reactions there are just as many that experience what I experienced and many much worse. As we move into Christmas and Hanukkah and the winter months, please take every precaution you can to avoid being exposed. If you are exposed, take it seriously.
I wish everyone a very joyous holiday season. Please be safe.
William(Bill) T. Orr