Springs man recovering after testing positive for coronavirus, shares his story with 11 News

Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 8:47 PM MDT
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A 28-year-old Colorado Springs man is sharing his story on what it is like to have the coronavirus.

Evan never expected he'd be caught up in the ongoing pandemic, but that all changed last week when his test results came back positive, and he became one of the first confirmed cases in the state.

"It felt a lot like the start of a cold," he said via a video call interview from his home a few hours after he received his test results. "I started to think I probably should get tested after about three days of being sick. It just kept getting worse.

"... I still didn't think I likely had COVID. I thought it was probably just the flu."

He and some friends were skiing at Crested Butte just before he got sick. Gunnison County does have active coronavirus cases, so he assumes he might have gotten it there.

"We were actually making a lot of jokes about coronavirus," he said.

But on March 10, it stopped being funny when Evan started showing symptoms.

"It really started as a fever and some general body aches. ... I didn't have a runny nose, stuffy nose, or a sore throat or a cough or anything,. I was just really achy and fevery, and that was it."

After days of worsening symptoms, a high fever and not testing positive for the two most common flu strains, he was finally able to get a doctor's note to be tested for COVID-19.

"They had someone come out and place [the note] in a Ziploc bag under my car's windshield, and that person was wearing a full medical gown and everything to make sure they didn't get infected,' Evan said.

He told 11 News driving through the testing tent was surreal.

"You drive through and you only deal with one person at a time. Everyone is wearing full medical gear. It was like a scene out of a movie," he said.

It took him nearly five days to get his test results back. He said he assumes since he's not a high-risk patient, there was no rush for his test to be processed.

"For someone like me, in their 20s, pretty healthy and stays active, I don't think it's the biggest thing. You're probably not the sickest you'll ever be in your life, but obviously for people with a prior health condition, older folks, it's really bad," he said.

At its worst, he described his experience with the virus as having a high fever that peaked at 102 degrees, extreme weakness, and loss of appetite that caused him to lose 10 pounds in a week.

Evan told 11 News he and his girlfriend self-quarantined before they got the test results. He said she is not showing any signs of symptoms after helping take care of him this whole time, but they both are continuing to follow the isolation recommendations.

"Even though she has no symptoms and feels totally fine, she's on lockdown too."

After his experience, Evan says he feels it's important to remember that he is a healthy, active 28-year-old who got the virus. So while he's doing well now, he believes everyone should stay vigilant to keep our at-risk and older population safe from it. As medical experts have cautioned, while most people who contract the virus will have an experience similar to Evan's, it can lead to serious complications or even death for the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions.

"I've told my work, I've told my friends, and I've told my family. Really anybody that had contact with me and anybody they had contact with, there's a legitimate risk [of contracting it]," Evan said.