CALIFORNIA – In February, Mike Schultz, a nurse in San Francisco, did not think he was at risk of getting coronavirus.
At 190 pounds, the 43-year-old was fit, but after six weeks in the hospital after contracting the virus, most of that time with a ventilator, Schultz lost about 50 pounds.
“When I first saw myself, I thought ‘wow’, I felt like a skeleton,” he said.
Schultz flew to Miami the first week of March for the Winter Party Festival, where her boyfriend Josh was one of the DJs. He was aware of the coronavirus but was not overly concerned.
“I thought there was a possibility that I might have it, but I also thought that if I got it, it would be like a bad cold and it would fade away,” he said.
At that time, the confirmed cases in the country had just exceeded 100 and most of them were on the west coast.
And although two major festivals in the city would be canceled just a few days later, the Winter Festival, a six-day music and dance event, was still underway. At least 38 people would then test positive. Three died.
“I didn’t realize the seriousness of it all,” said Schultz.
Health authorities updated the list of symptoms of the disease, which already leaves more than 200,000 dead worldwide.
In a statement, event organizers said: “Given what we knew at the time about the virus and working with Miami Beach officials, we took steps to ensure the safety of attendees.”
These steps included giving hand sanitizer and posting warnings.
After his brush with death, Schultz has a warning.
“I just hope my before and after photo shows you this is serious and can happen to you,” he said.