The sheriff of a rural Kentucky county, stricken with covid-19, pleaded on Facebook today for his readers to wear a mask. Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins, a former state trooper, said he thought he got the coronavirus on a Western RV trip. “We maintained our distance as much as we could, but did not always wear a mask,” he wrote. “I am now paying the price.” His post follows.
|Lauren and Norman Chaffins (Facebook photo via WBKO-TV)|
To All My Friends and Family,
I make this post while I have been in bed unable to move for the past six days, so please bear with me.
Yes, Lauren, Greyson and I are positive for the coronavirus. Greyson and Lauren have had mild symptoms with low-grade fever, coughing and fatigue while mine have been more severe.
We traveled out West near the end of June and while the incubation period, according to the experts, is 2-14 days, we likely contracted it while we were out there. We traveled via RV to the two states with the lowest number of covid cases at the time (Wyoming and Montana) in the nation. It’s important to note that we had less contact with people while out West than I had here in Grayson County just going about our regular duty and day.
When we returned on Saturday, July 4, I had a low grade fever of 99, which is not unusual for me especially after returning from a long trip with a significant altitude change. At the time, neither my son, nor my wife had any symptoms. As the weekend went on Greyson went to a friend’s house (they have been notified) and he developed a cough. Out of abundance of caution we picked him up within a couple of hours of him arriving. (Again, the family has been notified). My symptoms started to worsen. Neither myself or Lauren had any close contact with anyone else either here at home or at my work. If we did come in contact with someone, they were notified by the Grayson County Health Department or other reporting agency.
I am going to share with you my symptoms and at the end I will explain why. As I said before, it started out with a low grade fever. On Monday, I lost my sense of taste and smell and developed a severe headache — a severe headache that stayed with me until today. All of us also got tested on Monday. We received the positive results on Wednesday morning.
By late Wednesday morning my symptoms were fever (100.3-100.9), severe headache, earache, intense stomach pain, nausea, bone and joint pain, cough, sore throat, severe knee pain and inability to sleep. I started vomiting on Saturday. Each day after first diagnosis the symptoms intensified. Since Monday the 6th, I have not slept for more than two hours intermittently per day. What’s really weird is that Friday I started to hallucinate by seeing frightful images on my ceiling in my bedroom. I couldn’t sleep long enough to have a nightmare. The only drugs I took were Tylenol for fever and Phenegran the last couple of days. I assume the hallucinations were from lack of sleep and pain.
I could get no relief from the headaches and body aches, and began to think that I may be taking a turn for the worse. The only symptom I have not had is trouble breathing. The worst thing during this is that when one symptom starts to subside, I would develop two different ones. It is almost like someone is controlling them and taking turns turning them up and down as a sick joke.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have had the flu. I’ve had the mumps (on the pancreas), chicken pox, measles, broken neck, and had total knee replacement. If you were to combine the painful effects of all those into one, it would not touch the hell I experienced the past six days with this coronavirus. There is no comparison. Nothing that I know of or have ever experienced compares to it.
I consider myself a tough guy, but I am telling you that it brought me down quick and there is nothing I can do about it. I am not in control, and at times think I am losing it. As I type this I can feel a fever coming back.
I’m telling you this because I want you to wear your mask. Not because I am the sheriff, not because the governor said so, and not because the business tells you to. I want you to wear a mask because I do not want anyone to have to go through what I went through. I want you to wear a mask because I don’t want my kids or grandbabies to get sick. I want you to wear a mask because it’s just the right thing to do. It may not 100% guarantee that you won’t contract it, but wearing a mask will certainly reduce your chances.
Please understand this: I am not telling you to wear a mask. We are not going to fine you or insist that you wear a mask. As your friend, I am asking you to wear a mask when you are around others and when you go out into public at least until there is a vaccine. We maintained our distance as much as we could, but did not always wear a mask; I am now paying the price. One thing that is worse than battling the virus is battling the heaviness of the burden that we could have infected someone else.
Lastly, thank you for all the phone calls and prayers sent out on our behalf. We love our friends and family so much. Please, if you are going to go negative on me and judge me or my family, please go to Topix for that. I will not be making anymore posts or answering questions regarding this until we are clear of this virus. God bless each of you!