KOB 4's Chris Ramirez details his personal journey with COVID-19 | KOB 4

KOB 4's Chris Ramirez details his personal journey with COVID-19

Chris Ramirez
Updated: March 30, 2020 06:19 PM
Created: March 30, 2020 02:53 PM

Dear New Mexico Friends,

In the spirit of honesty and transparency, I announced on KOB 4 Monday that I tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago. I’d like to share with you the steps I took to make sure my colleagues at KOB 4 and you in our community stayed safe.   

Before the travel restrictions and before the warnings, I was in New York City on a work assignment and immediately following that I was in California celebrating a special occasion with very close friends. 

When I returned to work from my travels, my managers at KOB 4 noticed I had a lingering cough. Out of an abundance of concern for those around me, they asked that I get that cough checked out.  At the time, I was completely asymptomatic and had no reason to believe I had been infected, but nonetheless I went to an urgent care to get a full checkup. The doctor who examined me was not at all convinced I had COVID-19 and felt that my cough was due to seasonal allergies, which I suffer from miserably every year. He wrote a letter recommending I return to work.  On his advice, I did return for one day.  

But the following day, a friend who I spent time with in California informed me that he tested positive for COVID-19. I stopped what I was doing and immediately got a COVID-19 test and placed myself in home quarantine.  I had to wait five days to get the results.

In the meantime, even before my results were in, KOB 4’s management team worked with me to identify which members of our staff I came into close contact with. I also gave them a list of places in our building I spent time in. They placed some members of the KOB 4 staff on quarantine and they sanitized and disinfected my office and other places I identified as using.  

I also worked with the New Mexico Health Department to identify other people I was in contact with during the short time I was asymptomatic and not yet in quarantine.  A case worker from the New Mexico Health Department followed up with the people I identified as they deemed appropriate.

During my quarantine, I started experiencing mild symptoms including fevers, chronic headaches, extreme fatigue and for a brief period of time- a small amount of fluid built up in my lungs. I was never hospitalized, thankfully, but the virus did knock me down for a few days. I have a long-standing relationship with my family practice clinic. I’m grateful the healthcare providers there gave me advice and recommendations during a few tele-medicine appointments. 
The decision to end my quarantine and return to work was guided by facts, medical science and the medical opinion of my doctor.  Here are the facts that guided us.

  • Viruses do not last forever.  Viruses attach onto a host, wreak havoc for a bit, and in most cases, including mine, the body will successfully fight the virus until it is untraceable.  
  • The CDC recommends ending isolation after symptoms have improved.  My symptoms have more than improved, they have totally ended. 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health advised that I could release myself from quarantine after being off fever reducers like Tylenol and being symptom-free for three full days. In consultation with my doctor and KOB 4’s management team, we decided to wait even more time just to be safe.  
  • Based on all the science we know about virology, I no longer carry the virus.  I pose zero risk of re-transmission now.  In fact, my body actually built an antibody to COVID-19 which makes me immune to the virus at this time.   
  • Each day the New Mexico Health Department called to check on me.  They have since ended those calls because my case is now closed. 

Like many of you, I too have my own anxieties about COVID-19.  But I have to remember that I must make decisions about my own health and also about your safety and wellness based on facts, not fear.  
I took my quarantine seriously and self-isolated to ensure that I could not and would not contribute to the spread of this virus. I’m eternally grateful for friends who shopped for groceries or picked up medications from the pharmacy for me.  

I’m also grateful to the people in my life who gave me medicine for my soul.  I loved seeing how creative people got while social distancing and I especially loved the book recommendations, the latest on binge-worthy shows and the kindness you all spread during a scary time. 

I am grateful to be a part of a community that shows compassion and optimism, even when it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

As they say—we’re all in this together.  
Your friend,

Chris Ramirez  

Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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