Patients past and present share toll of coronavirus

While some people experience mild symptoms of coronavirus, others say it's worse than anything they've ever felt.

Posted: May 18, 2020 7:14 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- While some people experience mild symptoms of coronavirus, others say it's worse than anything they've ever felt.

Brian Alexander was one of the first people to be diagnosed with the virus back in March, and he said his symptoms never got severe. 

"The main symptom I had was I was just tired -- dog tired," Alexander said. "I probably slept most of the day for two days plus sleeping at night."

Others said it ravaged their bodies.

"(My symptoms were) headache, cough, shortness of breath, labored breathing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, sweating, increased heart rate," said Chelsea Alionas, who currently has coronavirus and says she's had it for over two months. 

Alionas works for the Oregon Health Authority and said although she was diagnosed April 10, she started showing symptoms March 9 and was turned away by a doctor. She said that can't happen.

"We need someone who can step up and be a leader. We need someone who can get the testing and the (personal protective equipment) to people who need it," she said.

She said the way she was overlooked has upset her as much as she's ever been and now she's suffering the consequences of negligence.

Alexander on the other hand suffered the worst way you can when he lost his wife to the virus without even knowing she had it.

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It was only after she passed that he got tested and learned he had it as well.

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Now he's doing something about it in the way of plasma donation.

Scientists say plasma from those who've had coronavirus contains antibodies that might be able to fight the virus in someone else who's infected.

"I saw a news article that the Red Cross was doing it so I called, and they signed me up. I had to go all the way to Salem," he said.

But he said the drive was worth it and he'll make it monthly if it helps people avoid the same pain he was forced to go through.

You can sign up to donate through the Red Cross.

Alionas on the other hand said she's been left with more questions than answers about what to do next.

"Nobody is telling us anything," she said. "We deserve answers."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4570

Reported Deaths: 161
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