COLUMBIA, S.C. — News 19's Daniel Bonds shares his story about fighting the coronavirus and what lingering affects continue to affect him today.
At this point in the pandemic, most of us know someone who has been impacted by the coronavirus one way or another. The same could be said at News 19 after our very own Daniel Bonds battled the virus this past month.
"For me, I had allergy issues. I was super tired and I always have allergy issues so that wasn't really a big deal but someone suggested that maybe I go get tested for COVID," said Daniel. "Before I got the COVID results, I started losing taste, smell and my symptoms really started ramping up quick. I mean it went from 0 to 60 fast."
After testing positive back on December 10th, Daniel spent 15 days pushing through having body and headaches and high fevers.
While that typical two week period went by, Daniel's problems weren't over. The coronavirus had effects on his personality and even his ability to focus or put words together.
"Mood swings, easily angered and agitated and for people that know me know I'm pretty even keel. I don't really get upset over things," explained Daniel. "The change of personality, what was crazy, my wife described it as like a brain injury almost."
He's even having crazy, vivid dreams and he typically doesn't dream at all.
Daniel went onto say, “I describe it as almost like my brain has been rewired in certain ways that it just doesn’t work the way that I’m used to I guess. It’s almost like I’m a passenger in my own body because I don’t know what’s going on.”
Dr. Helmut Albrecht is an Infectious Disease expert at Prisma Health. He is not Daniel’s doctor. Albrecht is the Director of Infectious Disease Research and Policy for Prisma Health and the University of South Carolina.
WLTX talked with him about what he’s seen overall, in treating people with viral infections and most recently, patients with COVID-19.
Albrecht says they've had several coronavirus patients that are dealing with its lingering effects.
"In all honesty, it's not something completely new. Most other viral infections have this, said Albrecht. "It doesn't mean that this is a very different virus that it's got to be common but there is such a phenomenon where people have a so called COVID hangover for a very long time."
Right now, Albrecht says there's not a specific cause as to why it is happening and it sometimes can last for months. He believes these lingering effects don't happen to every person who has the coronavirus.
"It's case by case. Most patients actually recover. The good news is this virus does not persist," explained Albrecht. "So it doesn't have a DNA form that can sort of hide out in our DNA. So eventually the virus is gone but it's almost like flipping a switch where the inflammatory reaction that our body must earn to get over this doesn't go away despite the virus being gone."
While someone may be experiencing these lingering effects, Albrecht says there's things they can do to help themselves get back to normal.
"Time is the best measure and until then, you try to train. Graded exercise. Do the sudokos, do the puzzles, do the memory exercises that you fancy and try to get back," said Albrecht. "Don't get totally frustrated if you can't get back in one swoop. It will just take time."
While it's been a new experience for Daniel, he knows it'll take time to get back to that normal feeling.
"I will not take good health for granted ever again. I promised myself that... Even like simple tasks that I've done a thousand times, sometimes I have to stop and say how do I do this again," said Daniel. "It's kind of scary but I will say this, I feel like I'm getting better, a little bit better every day, like baby steps."
Daniel wants to thank everyone in the community for the encouraging messages and support he and his family received when he battled COVID-19.
WLTX wants to hear from you and any questions you have about it. You can join us Friday, January 8th at 3:30 pm on Facebook Live as we look to answer your questions about the lingering effects of the virus.
Text us your questions to (803) 776-9508. You can also ask your questions live during the chat.