CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CoronaVirus Covid-19 CoronaVirus Treatment coronavirus vaccine Tarana Burke, founder of #MeToo movement, details partner’s ‘scary’ coronavirus battle

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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CoronaVirus Covid-19 CoronaVirus Treatment coronavirus vaccine Tarana Burke, founder of #MeToo movement, details partner’s ‘scary’ coronavirus battle

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) CoronaVirus Covid-19 CoronaVirus Treatment coronavirus vaccine

Cydney Henderson
USA TODAY

Published 10:54 AM EDT Apr 10, 2020

Activist Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, is detailing her partner's “scary” battle with the coronavirus.

Burke, 46, opened up about her firsthand experience with COVID-19 in a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday to inform others as the virus continues to spread. 

“I went back and forth about talking about this but my partner has Covid and the last two weeks of my life have been some of the scariest,” she tweeted. “The reason why I’m sharing is because I’ve read so much information but the most informative has been first person accounts of folks with it.”

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Burke said they were both exposed to the coronavirus in mid-March.

“He was deemed an ‘essential worker' because he works with the homeless and was exposed again at work,” she wrote. “It took about three days to figure out that we were probably dealing with Covid. In 3 days he went from feeling a little weak to 101.5 fever.”

The activist said her partner experienced “extreme fatigue, escalating fever, terrible headaches” and an unusual symptom that she hadn't heard before: sensitive skin.  

“His skin felt like it was burning – even when he barely had a fever of 99+,” she added. “We literally used aloe gel for sunburn to soothe it. The NP later told us she had heard others say that too.”

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On day five, Burke said her partner's health started to deteriorate and his fever spiked to 102.3, resulting in an emergency room visit to Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

“We were both admitted to the ER after being triaged in the lobby,” she tweeted. “He was dehydrated and had elevated blood sugar so they put him on an IV. They gave us both chest X-rays and the Covid test which is *brutal* (but fairly quick). He was positive and I was negative.”

Burke and her partner were eventually sent home because “he didn’t have respiratory issues yet.” She said she was instructed to call 911 “if he even skips a breath.”

The activist described the next couple days as “bad.”

“The worst was day 8 when his fever went to 102.9 and he began to have convulsions,” she said. “The doctor said I needed to get his fever down. I put him in the shower (a whole other story) and gave him Tylenol cold & flu extra strength (he took that at night) and it started to come down in about two hours.”

She continued: “Just have to say this was the SCARIEST night because the pressure of making the wrong decision was overwhelming. Felt like one wrong move could kill him. I didn’t sleep at all. But by morning his fever was at 101+ again and he was calmed. This was the peak I believe.”

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Burke said her partner's fever subsided but he now suffers from a “horrible cough” and headaches. 

“He’s not 100% but he’s much, much better,” she added. “I don’t wish this on *anyone* as a patient or caretaker. It’s scary and hard and bc it affects everyone differently you just don’t know. I think folks need to be prepared with meds in your house just in case.”

As for herself, Burke said she hasn't experienced “any real symptoms,” despite headaches and body aches that she attributes to exhaustion from being at her partner's side. 

“I’m operating as if I’m asymptomatic though just to be safe,” Burke added. “And we are trying to keep some distance just in case.”

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She continued: “I don’t know if our story is helpful. I hope so. I just want folks to know it’s not just like a *bad flu* or cold. I worry about folks who live alone or couples who both get it because you might very well need to be cared for but not qualify to be hospitalized.”

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