I received the following personal story from a constituent this morning. He is in his 40’s and had one wild ride:
“I just received my clearance letter from public health and am free to leave the house and return to work. I have been inside for 31 days (other than when I went to get tested) and was the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Wasilla.
Thank you so much to all the people who were praying for my recovery, checking on and encouraging me, and to those that have been bringing food and supplies to the house as my family has also been in quarantine. All of my household was presumed positive and have followed the same quarantine restrictions. My wife and the girls had only mild symptoms and my boy had no symptoms at all. I was advised not to make any public announcements until I was better, so I apologize to those of you who are just finding out about this now.
I’ve had pneumonia before. I have had the other COVID-19 symptoms before (though I never exhibited any of the loss of smell/taste or fevers that many have had.) This was a sickness unlike I have ever had and there were a few of the scariest days of my life when I was at my sickest. There were a couple of times I begged the Lord, “God I’m ready, but my family isn’t ready for me to be gone.” The worst part was having to be isolated from my family inside the same house. I could hear them, but couldn’t have any contact or close interactions.
I share the details for two reasons. First, as a praise for our recoveries as an answer to prayer. I joked with a couple people when I was sick, “I have a 98.5% chance of survival with a 100% guarantee of eternal life.” Many of the families who are grieving do not have the peace that passes understanding, and even if they do, they still mourn the loss of people they love.
The second reason is that I see friends saying they should just get exposed on purpose so we can get on with our lives and get the economy going again. It’s true that most people who get exposed to coronavirus will show no or only mild symptoms. What I felt I wouldn’t wish on anyone and moreover, I would not want to knowingly take the risk of causing someone else to get sick or die.
We probably could have handled this differently. If mechanisms were in place to provide for and protect the most vulnerable among us, those at low risk probably could have just gone about their business while taking precautions: masks, hand washing, gloves, social distancing, etc. Many policy makers seem more interested in their own agendas than in what would bring the greatest good for the greatest number. As we prepare for the second wave of coronavirus, I hope to see more bipartisan cooperation, more solutions, less posturing and less finger pointing. I hope we treat this round of coronavirus as a warning and an opportunity to do better. I believe public health and personal liberty can coexist.
Lord willing, I’m going to see my 50th anniversary of life in a couple weeks. Thanks for being my friends and God bless you all.”