The harshness in Leah Blomberg’s voice can still be heard due to having a tube stuck down her throat for nine days.
Her muscles are still so weak, that it takes her 45 minutes to take a quick shower.
Now, as she’s trying to recover from coronavirus, she urges protesters to stop crying and complaining about shelter-in-place orders.
In a Facebook post, Blomberg shares her coronavirus experience:
“I spent 9 days in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator due to this virus. I spent another 9 days in the ICU having horrible hallucinations from the meds,”
“I basically had to learn how to walk again due to muscle atrophy from being 100% bedridden for 2 weeks. I’M LUCKY TO BE ALIVE,”
“Stay in your house. Take the money the government is giving you. Stop complaining and be thankful for your health. Thank you, Governor Evers, for caring more about our HEALTH than our WEALTH.”
Her post generated praise and criticism as hundreds of protesters from the country demanded governors to end stay-at-home orders and resume all businesses.
Blomberg stated she empathizes with protesters who are financially struggling because she, too, had lost her job as a real estate receptionist during this pandemic.
But a bigger point she wants protesters to understand is from health officials’ perspective, who believes the country isn’t ready to reopen because the virus is not yet under control.
Blomberg described the protesters’ demands as shortsighted because the virus is still spreading unabated.
In a statement, she told reporters:
“If you’re in a hospital bed, you’re not making any money anyway. In fact, you’re putting yourself in further debt,”
“If you’re dead, it doesn’t matter anyway — you’re not going to be able to provide for your family. You’re going to have your medical bills, your funeral costs, you’re going to be leaving that for them on top of it all.”
Like many others, Blomberg admitted she didn’t think she’d suffer severe complications from coronavirus. It just started with feeling flu-like symptoms on March 19.
“I just felt like I got hit by a truck. All the energy was gone, and literally everything in my body ached.”
Then, she lost her senses of taste and smell, symptoms that are common with COVID-19.
“It wasn’t until the 24th when I didn’t have the energy to make it to the bathroom in time — when I finally said to my husband, ‘Take me to the ER,'”
“They immediately called an ambulance to take me to a hospital that was accepting COVID patients. And when I got there, they said, ‘You’re not getting enough oxygen. We’re going to have to intubate you.’ So I was put in a medically induced coma and put on a ventilator.”
She tested positive for coronavirus but still has “absolutely no idea” how she got infected. She went on to continue sharing her story:
“We didn’t have anybody in our close circle that has gotten sick or died from this,”
“I didn’t know I was at risk. I’m 35. I have no underlying medical conditions that would have compromised my immunity.”
Blomberg’s nine-days coma led to muscle atrophy — the wasting or loss of muscle tissue.
Her physical anguish is now compounded by the financial pain of hospital bills.
She’s only received a portion of her medical bills but owes $11,000 so far.
“Not only do I not have a job, but now I don’t have this money for medical bills.”
“A lot of those people will not understand until it happens to them or someone they love. And it’s really sad,”
“If you think things are tight now, if you get sick and get to the hospital, these 5-digit bills, 6-digit bills — it’s going to be even worse.”
She reiterates that she’s not just concerned for the protesters, but also for everyone they could infect through the asymptomatic spread.
That includes health care workers, some of whom have already died from the coronavirus.That’s why whenever she sees protesters wanting to reopen the country right now, she said all she can do is to shake her head.
“We have to wait for the medical community to say it’s OK. They’re the ones who know what’s going on. They’re the ones who know, who have the facts, who have all the data. They’re the ones who we ultimately should be listening to.”
In the meantime, Blomberg just wants people to know that what happened to her could happen to anyone.
“Open your eyes. There are plenty, plenty of people in hospitals, (and) too many people dying.”