“Hear My Train A-coming” -Original Artwork-

(A conversation With a “severe” victim. This is what he told me.)

“It was an ordinary day, and I was hanging around the house when I suddenly collapsed. It wasn’t a hard fall because my fall was broken by a cushioned chair that was beside me. I only remember bits and pieces of the next ten days; I spent every second fighting to breathe.

I quickly descended into a nightmarish cycle of lying on my side because of exhaustion, followed immediately by sitting up to breathe several breaths, manually controlled. It was the only way that I could breathe, but it was exhausting.

The complete cycles became shorter and shorter until they were only about thirty to forty seconds long. This went on for ten days.

I had had a headache, but I had not had the flu for several years. After I first collapsed and crawled into bed, I saw that I had large bruises, about the size of a silver dollar, all over my lower-left leg, but there was no reason for them to be there.

I couldn’t stand or walk, because of weakness, and balance problems, for 10 days. My left foot was numb, and that condition seems to be permanent. I passed black, stringy masses nasally at the end of the severe period, but that activity ended with the severe symptoms.

I bled from the nose for the first four days. I lost about 75% of the vision in my right eye, because of a hemorrhage. That condition as well may be permanent. During the serious phase, there were changes in my basic cognition: the feeling of running water was different, as an example.

I have returned to nearly full functionality, and my decision making was not permanently affected. But, now I walk with a crutch and will need new devices to correct vision, whatever they end up being. And, of course, I can’t drive a car.”

This man lives in almost total isolation. He recognized the symptoms of a SARS-like virus and placed himself in voluntary, total, quarantining from the onset. He lives alone, but had food and supplies, and had additional items dropped off without personal contact. The circumstances make him an almost unique case study. He had received three or four packages through the mail, starting in early August 2018, containing small electronics items; FROM GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA. Guangdong is where SARS originated. He only makes personal contact with the outside once or twice a year.

He collapsed on September 14th, 2019. In the continental United States.

The After-effects:

Substantial permanent memory loss.
Damaged memory function.
Impaired reasoning and functional skills for a week.
Permanently (apparently) impaired vision.
Nose bleeds.
Partial paralysis.
Lingering muscle weakness, several times longer than flu.
Lingering feelings of exhaustion.
Long-term balance impairment.
The danger of falling because of weakness, impaired balance, and tightness in the lower legs causing, “short-stepping.”

John collapsed on the 14th. of September 2019. Six months ago. For the life of me, I can’t make sense of the timeline. You good and gentle people will have to ask the questions – and demand the answers, my race is almost run, but something’s not making sense.

I think that if people really knew what it’s like, a severe bout with this horror, they would not turn the response into a hurricane party. But, no joking: this disease is deadly and somehow aggressive in an unusual way not yet fully understood, and it can possibly cripple and blind. If anyone, especially a governor or the President, minimizes and plays the fool; they kill people. Possibly thousands. We have to stop the madness.

I’m not suggesting at all that everyone will get these symptoms.

There are many who are saying that there’s nothing we can do if millions are already infected. I don’t think that is what really matters. What matters is what we do in the aftermath – there are going to be a lot of people needing help. Personally, I think that we will step up, and work together. And show what we are made of.

God bless one and all. Be smart!

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Air Force brat. My dad was shepherd to a bunch of B-52's; the GI's called that place "20 Minutes From Armageddon;" because a missile launched in East Germany would pop over our heads twenty minutes later. That put me in some of the best schools anywhere. I wrote in the Press Office of a powerful, charismatic Midwestern Governor. I dabble in graphic arts. My 50+ entertainment sites get a few million visits, and I have stopped counting the fans, likes, and shares, per year. I've rambled the world, hitched around the continent (counter-clockwise). Climbed a couple of teeners, been to a couple of thousand rock, blues, and jazz concerts. I was at a free concert on Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA with about 350,000 freaks and hippies; and other festivals. I won a writing contest when I was six. It was a Poe-like horror story taken from an account of a mining disaster. I had already been reading Edgar Allan Poe (which may explain a lot). I could read before I could talk. I implemented some of the first client/server, TCP-IP networks (the Internet) at many of the world's largest corporations. I know a half-dozen programming languages, and have implemented and administered many network operating systems. Right now I build ebikes, and lithium batteries from scratch. I was taught that race and ethnicity don't set us apart. I think that the best thing that could happen in this country would be if a woman were to be elected President of the United States. I admire President Obama more than any man in history, save one.

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How can we be sure this is a coronavirus without his being tested or diagnosed? This was before COVID-19 was even known about, right? I can’t make sense of this timeline either. How do we know it’s not something else?