Fred Romankewiz was on his way to get vaccinated. But he was uncomfortable, so he canceled his appointment and took his Covid-19 test, although he was just inches from the coronavirus finish line. But now, a 54-year-old building materials salesman from Lansing has tested positive.
“What really disappointed me is it’s been a year, so what? – It’s been three months since I played it right, I mean, I did everything right,” Romankewiz said.
Watching TV responded to consistent text messages and jokes cracking from his hospital bed in Lansing’s Sparrow, Romankewiz said he felt good about his chances of a full recovery. But the virus got him low.
“I felt like I was 10 rounds of Mike Tyson,” he said. “I was really tired, I mean, I felt like I was beaten. I felt like I was in a car accident. I mean, it was crazy.”
Romankewiz, who lived a healthy and unqualified life, said he was infected with the virus from his 19-year-old son Andy.His wife Betsy, who was fully vaccinated, was also infected with the virus. But there are a few symptoms
“ There are two things driving this trend, ” said Jim Dover, CEO and president of Sparrow Health System, a major healthcare provider in central Michigan. The coronavirus that makes the disease more contagious and can be life threatening.
“This variant is more virulent, so it’s more infectious and easier to catch,” Dover said. “Second, everyone is tired of wearing masks, so you go out and see the lack of social isolation. The lack of masking, the virus is invisible and people don’t know they are walking through the COVID cloud and the next. What do you know they are infected? “
Dangerous variables spread throughout the state.
At Beaumont Hospital’s Royal Oak, the site of the largest healthcare provider in Wolverine, the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant was evident.
Dr. Justin Skrzynski is a physician at Covid Hospital, who had never been before last year, meaning he specializes in caring for people with COVID. He said they sent some small samples to the state for DNA analysis.
“Right now, the usual Covid test we do – still shows that Covid (or) doesn’t have Covid,” Skrzynski said. “But we’ve sent a lot of patients to the state, and we’ve seen something like 40% of patients. Our now (with) B.1.1.7 “
Tina Catron, 44, is supervised by Skrzynski at Beaumont Health’s Royal Oak plant, the mother of two, said she thought her family had been infected with the coronavirus through the football league of their children.
“We’re not 100% sure,” she said of the way they all got it. “But we thought from the football stadium with our parents, even though we were all masked from the sidelines, everyone was shouting and me. To think what happened was my husband was with my son, his football game, and he brought it home. ”
Fighting the virus in many ways
Health officials in Michigan said both school and youth sports could carry the virus.Catron said 9-year-old Jessie and 7-year-old Jesse had no symptoms and that her husband was very ill. But was not treated in the hospital
She said she was shocked that she had to be hospitalized. She is healthy, active and has no underlying disease. But hospitalization was required after pneumonia.
“You feel like you can’t breathe,” she said, coughing in her throat and still trying to breathe.
Michigan, whose Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer has been hit hard by Republicans, business owners and others over her ongoing coronavirus restrictions, is battling the virus in many ways. The vaccination side is about to roll out, with approximately 600,000 Michiganders being shot every week. The economy is making a comeback with some restrictions removed and many are returning to pre-epidemic life without masks or social aloofness.
The 40-49 age group increased similarly, with 58 admitted per day, compared with 33 in the fall. For people over 60 years of age, hospitalizations are drastically reduced due to increased vaccinations.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said 35.2% of Michigan adults received at least one vaccine and 21.5% were fully vaccinated.
Health workers were ‘thrown by the curve’
Dr. Lynda Misra, medical director of the Covid Unit at Beaumont Health’s Royal Oak Plant, said the increase in patients was rapid and that they were unsure of where they were in this trend. Whatever it is taken, she and her team will be up to the challenge – but the virus has proven to be resilient and difficult to fight.
“Each spurt poses a different challenge,” she said. “We feel very strong that this disease is under attack. But then we were thrown by a bow. “
The weight and stress of the ongoing outbreak were evident when speaking to health care workers.
Lindsay Muenchen, a registered nurse in COVID at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, said she thought the worst was behind them. I got sick again. It was really difficult, ”she said.
Dora Hoppes at Sparrow Hospital has been working as a registered nurse for 22 years, she said last year was the toughest.
Her voice broke and her emotions jumped as the first question of our short interview, when asked why it was so hard to speak about the past year, she walked down the hallway. “I just saw it yesterday,” she said, with tears flowing. “I have a passing patient, so it is very fresh every day.”
The stress of being surrounded by sickness and death is the hardest part of her beloved job, she says. “I want to come into work now and just take care of the people who are here because they need their gallbladder. ”
CNN’s Linh Tran and Frank Bivona contributed to this report.