BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — In early March, Linda Bohn had a sore throat.
Her primary care doctor had her take Sudafed and Tylenol.
Ten days later, she had a fever, chills and a headache.
“I’ve never had a headache like this, and I have never had chills as bad as those chills, and I immediately thought, ‘I bet this is the virus,’” Bohn said.
A few days later, she went to a drive-thru test site.
Less than 24 hours later, the CDC called and said her test was positive, and she should quarantine herself 14 days past her last symptom.
“I was a nervous wreck because I had heard so many horrible things,” Bohn said.
She worried most about not being able to breathe.
For five days, she stayed in bed.
“It’s kind of like a blur to me now,” Bohn said. “I was that sick.”
She only left her bed to go to the bathroom.
It was so bad once that she passed out on the bathroom floor.
A nurse from the Pennsylvania Department of Health happened to call later that day.
“She said, ‘I think you need to go to the hospital,'” Bohn said. “And I said, ‘Oh, please, not there, I’m afraid to go there.’”
Bohn called her primary care doctor instead.
“My partner had her check her blood pressure and thought that she was most likely passed out because of being dehydrated,” explains Dr. Rhea Marinstein, a primary care doctor at Allegheny Health Network.
“They said I could stay at home as long as I had a blood pressure cuff, I took a blood pressure reading, I have a pulse ox meter. So every two hours, I was to take those numbers,” says Bohn.
Meanwhile, she isolated herself in her room. Her husband and son cleaned every surface.
But they weren’t perfect.
“My husband would come into my room and he would be touching my head or touching my arm,” Bohn said, “And I kept saying, ‘Please put a mask on, put gloves on.’”
Bohn thinks she got the infection from her son, who worked at the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County.
“They’re expecting that to be a breeding ground. At the end of their shift, they’re putting 50 guys on a bus together,” Bohn said.
After a week and a half of feeling sick, Bohn started feeling better.
“There are people that have [gastrointestinal] symptoms, heart symptoms, confusion, brain symptoms. The thing that surprised me about her is that hers were mostly G.I.,” Dr. Marinstein said.
“I don’t think I have ever, ever been this sick with anything ever. This was a long, long process,” says Bohn, “I look out my door, and I see people walking down the street holding hands, and I just want to scream out to them, ‘Distance, distance.’”
Turns out, everyone in Linda’s home got sick. Her son is still not well, and her husband is in the intensive care unit on a ventilator.