The Associated Press has a “nut graf” (a single paragraph inserted into articles on the same topic) in every one of its stories about the coronavirus.
“For most people, the new virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority recover,” the AP says.
Fox News also has an explanatory paragraph in many stories: “The disease is also known to cause mild, cold-like symptoms for 80 percent of those infected, with most people who test positive recovering over time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).”
But according to some who have contracted the virus — people of all ages — the symptoms were much worse than advertised.
Conner Reed, 25, told Sky News that he thought he was going to die.
“It was a case of going to bed, waking up and not being able to breathe,” Reed said. “It scared me because breathing is a necessity of life. If you have the flu, you feel like you’re going to die but you’re really not. But when your lungs get affected, that’s when it really scared me.”
He said at one point during his infection, he couldn’t speak at all. Still, he recovered. “The best case of recovery is having enough rest and keeping quarantined and being by yourself,” he said.
Then there’s Geneva Wood, 90. She contracted coronavirus at Life Care Center senior care facility in Seattle, Washington; 30 deaths have been linked with the center. In fact, 62% of the roughly 130 elderly residents were infected.
Despite her age, Wood got better. “It’s the Potato Soup!!! She knew that’s what she needed to help her get better! It’s working and the doctor and nurses are wanting the recipe!” her daughter Cami Neidigh wrote on Facebook.
Chris Kane, a 55-year-old Washington resident, picked up the virus while on a business trip in Florida, according to ABC News. He said his first major symptom was a steady pressure on his chest. “What got me kind of nervous was when my chest started to feel like, you know, an elephant was standing on [it], basically tough to get your breath,” he told ABC News.
Kane was treated with remdesivir, an antiviral therapy that was used successfully in Ebola treatment. “My breathing got better, [it] wasn’t as painful. I was able to move around the room,” he said. His wife told NBC News: “We are 100,000 percent convinced that the remdesivir turned things around for him.”
Tara Jane Langston, 39, had a worse time with the virus. A frequent gym-goer, she wound up in a London ICU hospital. She told The Daily Mail that the virus is like “having glass in your lungs. It’s hard to explain, but every breath is a battle.”
“It’s absolutely horrible and I wouldn’t want to go through anything like this ever again,” she said.
There are currently 286,816 confirmed cases worldwide, the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering reports. While there have been 11,904 deaths, 89,899 people have recovered (the rest of the cases are still active).