MARYSVILLE (April 2, 2020) — Firefighters, medics and other first responders continue to do their jobs keep our communities safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These everyday heroes are continually exposing themselves to the coronavirus to protect the public.
I began having symptoms on Friday the 13th of all days. It started with a mild headache, dry cough and body aches for a couple of days. I woke up that Sunday with the same symptoms along with a mild fever of 100. The fever lasted for a couple of days but was relieved with ibuprofen. I was tested that Sunday as well and had the results on Tuesday that I was positive. Sunday was also the start of my quarantine for the next 2 weeks.
Being isolated was by far the worst part of my experience. It was emotionally and psychologically the toughest thing I’ve ever been through. My symptoms remained relatively mild with the exception of the 17th and 18th, which is when I began experiencing a tightness in my upper airways which made it difficult to breathe. That combined with the isolation made it tough. My doctor started me on a prophylactic Z-pack and the malaria medicine that has been all over the news that Tuesday, and within a couple of days my breathing had improved, although the other symptoms lingered for several more days.
The process has also been tough on my family, most notably my wife who became my caretaker. She obviously had to take over everything in regards to the house and kids while also caring for me. It was tough emotionally for her as well, knowing I had the virus that was responsible for causing so many deaths. As of today, I’m asymptomatic but my family is now quarantined to the house for 10 more days because of the fact that I was positive. It was nice knowing that the Fire Department and the Union were taking care of us who contracted the virus in regards to paid time off and checking daily to ensure that any needs we may have were taken care of.
On behalf of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the 550,000 union members it represents, THANK YOU to Craig Milless and all the firefighters and medics represented by the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Your hard work and the sacrifices that you and your families are making on behalf of the community during the COVID-19 outbreak are very much appreciated.
Do you know union members in Washington state who deserve recognition as Everyday Heroes amid the coronavirus crisis? Share their stories with us!