CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin penned a heartfelt essay about her fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, detailing the physical and emotional distress she endured as she battled the infection.
“It took a full two-week beating on my body. I went to some very dark places, especially at night,” she wrote.
While she generally considers herself to be a fairly positive person, Baldwin said, under the influence of coronavirus, things were different.
“As each day came to a close, I would often cry, unable to stave off the sense of dread and isolation I felt about what was to come.”
Baldwin said she fought constant and intense body aches, a complete loss of her taste and smell, and fevers and chills that would abate and then return “with a vengeance.” She would often sleep 10-12 hours a night and wake up soaked in sweat, she said.
“Looking back, my sense of time feels warped and inexact,” she wrote. “Some days crawled by tortuously slowly, while others disappeared unaccounted for in my memory, lost in the wash of emotion, sleep, and illness.”
“I never knew when it would end. It was relentless, scary, and lonely.”
She used a separate bedroom and bathroom from her husband, and the physical isolation might have been worse than the body aches, she said. Eventually, they couldn’t keep it up.
“He hated to see me suffer and he couldn’t not take care of me. He began to hold me in those darker moments and let me cry, whispering: “Everything’s going to be all right.” (Thankfully, he is yet to get sick, she said.)
She said these acts of simple human connection and contact were “restorative beyond measure.”
And not just with her husband. Baldwin said the outreach and support from thousands of people ― her friends, family, community, current and former colleagues, boss, exes, social media followers and even her dentist ― truly helped lift her up and fostered a deep gratitude for the power of human connection.
“It was overwhelming in a way I have never felt in my life,” she said. “And it showed me how ― even when the world stops and takes a collective breath ― we’re all capable of showing up for one another. And for that, I will forever be grateful.”
Baldwin, who updated followers and shared her experience throughout her time fighting the virus, said in an Instagram post Sunday that she’d wondered whether to share the images of herself in the article, taken at her “worst.” She decided to share them, and her account, she said, in an attempt to show fans the “unvarnished version” of herself and remind people that it’s “oh-so-possible” to beat coronavirus.
Read the full essay on her experience on CNN.
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