The founder and leader in the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, is being fully transparent about her partner’s experience with COVID-19. She took to Twitter to tell the ‘scary’ story and she gave some advice along the way.
“I went back and forth about talking about this but my partner has Covid and the last two weeks of my life have been some of the scariest,” she started in a Thursday Twitter thread. “The reason why I’m sharing is because I’ve read so much information but the most informative has been first person accounts of folks with it.”
Burke then went on to say that she and her partner were both exposed in mid-March because her partner was an “essential worker” who worked with the homeless. “It took about three days to figure out that we were probably dealing with Covid,” she said. “In 3 days he went from feeling a little weak to 101.5 fever.”
She continued, “Along with the fever he had something we had not read about: sensitive skin. His skin felt like it was burning – even when he barely had a fever of 99+ We literally used aloe gel for sunburn to soothe it. The NP later told us she had heard others say that too.”
Burke explained that she and her partner went to the emergency room when his fever hit 102.3 and the staff at Mount Sinai in New York City was “AMAZING.”
“We were both admitted to the ER after being triaged in the lobby,” explained Burke. “He was dehydrated and had elevated blood sugar so they put him on an IV. They gave us both chest X-rays and the Covid test which is *brutal* (but fairly quick). He was positive and I was negative.”
Eventually, Burke and her partner were sent home because she says he didn’t have any respiratory issues. When Burke asked under what circumstances should her partner return to the hospital, she says the response she received was “if he even skips a breath call 911.”
Burke then described the next six to nine nights as “BAD.”
“His fever would level off in the day time and spike at night. I gave him DayQuil, vit C and B12, and ran the humidifier with Oregano oil drops,” said Burke. “He drank tea with ginger, elderberry, lemon and honey or hot water with lemon all day and hardly ate. When he did eat it was soup and crackers. Oh and at night I rubbed his feet with Thieves Oil and put socks on him. The worst was day 8 when his fever went to 102.9 and he began to have convulsions.”
Burke continued, “I called the telemed doctor at Mt. Sinai again (they are WONDERFUL and each time, I called they came to the phone in 15 mins or less). The doctor said I needed to get his fever down. I put him in the shower (a whole other story) and gave him Tylenol cold & flu extra strength (he took that at night) and it started to come down in about two hours.”
Burke said this night was the “scariest” because it “felt like one wrong move could kill him. I didn’t sleep at all.” Burke said that eventually her partner’s fever went down and “We were told he has to go 3 days with no fever and no meds. Today is day 3. We are on day 15 overall and he has a horrible cough which started about 4 days ago and headaches, but is up and about.”
Burke went on to say that she still hasn’t experienced any “real symptoms” outside of a few headaches and body aches that are most likely due to exhaustion. She said people should still be prepared with medication and non-traditional remedies in their house. “I don’t wish this on *anyone* as a patient or caretaker. It’s scary and hard and bc it affects everyone differently you just don’t know.” Burke said she had to enlist the help of her brother to drop off medication in front of her door after she ran out.
“I worry about folks who live alone or couples who both get it because you might very well need to be cared for but not qualify to be hospitalized.” Burke said the doctor instructed her partner to stay inside for seven more days until the the virus had run its course. “Please stay safe and do your best not to get it at all,” she finished.
Burke announced her engagement to her partner back in February, and they both grew up in the same Bronx neighborhood, Highbridge. She posted their engagement photos to Instagram writing, “When I showed one of my girls and shared that I was debating going public she said ‘Black love is to be celebrated’ and that resonated with me. So today I’m celebrating my love and all of the love spread from my timeline across the world.”