Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Gina Steward
Telegram Publisher 

Surviving Covid-19 An interview with State Rep. Tyrone Carter

 

The Telegram Newspaper sat down for an interview with State Representative Tyrone Carter. Since he tested positive for the coronavirus last month we wanted to use this opportunity to share first hand with the community what it was like to survive Covid-19

First, how are you feeling today? I am almost 100% recovered. It's been a journey, but I am feeling fine.

What symptoms did you have that made you think you had the virus? I had a fever of 102 degrees, chills (teeth chattering and I couldn't get warm under the cover), body aches (every muscle was hurting like I had worked out hard for days), a bad dry cough and I had no taste and wasn't able to smell.

Did you get tested and how long after you had systems did you find out you were positive? My wife and I got tested on March 21st at Wayne State University. Lisa got her results on Wednesday through a text message that she had tested negative. I had to wait until Thursday and that's when I got the call that I had tested Positive for Covid-19.

I had been feeling bad for about four days beginning on March 17th. My wife found out that she had been around someone who had tested positive and I had symptoms so we got tested.

Were any of your other family members positive? Thank God, none of my family members tested positive. We stayed our distance from each other. I was self quarantined in the master bedroom. My wife was in the guest room and my son was upstairs. We consistently cleaned and wiped down the house. When my son wanted to go hang out with his friend, I told him he couldn't go. Social distancing became a life style for us.

What do you owe your recovery to? I think I caught it early, rested, drunk a lot of water, since my lips were chapped, I knew I was dehydrated. I also had soup and tea and took Tylenol Cold & Flu. From March 18th – 21st I stayed in and rested. It took five days to get my results back. By the time I got my results back, I was feeling better. The sooner you know the better for the community and your family members. Also, I think the underlying issues, such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and some others puts this virus on steroids. The problem is that some people don't have symptoms of the virus (asymptomatic) are still able to spread the virus.

How has life changed for you since you recovered from Covid-19? We look at the world totally differently now. I wash my hands more often. I am more aware about what I touch and how I interact with people. (Handshaking may be a thing of the past) We are also wiping stuff down and cleaning surfaces more.

We talked about our insurance policies and made sure we are prepared for death.

How many of your friends have tested positive; died? Wow. Let me think. I had about ten people in my circle that tested positive and two died; Isaac Robinson and Donafay Collins

How has your coworker - State Representative Isaac Robinson's death affected you? Isaac was fearless and brilliant. He was a person that always fought for the underdogs. We worked together on several issues. He was a unique individual that I loved to strategize with. . One of the last projects he was working on was 'Stomping for Burnie'. His death has really created a void in my life. He was an advocate for the people. I will pick up many of his fights.

What do you want your community to know? Follow the rules. Stay Home. Stay Alive. My question to you is, "If death is outside your door, what is out there worth dying for?"

If you are not going out to get some food, drop off something for your family members or get some medicine, stay home. Responsible people must hold their irresponsible relatives accountable.

Lastly, the community needs to know that we, the Legislature are working for them. We are trying to make sure they are getting the resources that they need.

Governor Whitmer and Mayor Duggan are listening to the people. Their actions are proving that they are knocking down the hurdles that will help us to get through this pandemic.

We can bounce back from this. It is not a death sentence for everyone that gets it. I am living proof.

As we get through this pandemic, what should the community and individual people focus on?

We must learn lessons from this. We must control the things that we can; like taking control of our health, reducing the Digital Divide and becoming more responsible.

We must have a Will and have your insurance in place. It is a fact of life. We are not going to 'GoFundMe' our way out of these funerals.

Lastly, we must focus on getting the 2020 Census numbers up. Our cities need the money and this is the opportunity to get it. We don't wont to be in a position over the next 10 years that we can't get 100% of the funding for a project because only 50% of the people in your city completed the Census form. As I said before, since it applies to this, "Responsible people must hold their irresponsible relatives accountable. "

State Representative Tyrone Carter serves the 6th House District, which includes parts of Detroit, Ecorse and River Rouge. He can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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