The coronavirus pandemic has left us with a lot of unforgettable images, whether it’s eerily empty streets and restaurants in cities, scores of people in grocery stores hiding their faces behind masks, or feel-good photos of solidarity among healthcare workers. But a Boston-based nurse has recently given us another image we won’t soon forget: a stark visual of what the COVID-19 virus can do to your body.
Mike Shultz is a 43 year-old nurse in Boston who battled coronavirus for more that six weeks. He’s also a popular Instagram figure, where he uses the handle The Bearded Nurse and has accumulated more than 40,000 followers.
This week he revealed the grim toll that the virus has taken on his usually fit physique.
The left image is of Shultz roughly four weeks before contracting the virus. The second is a selfie he took this week in the hospital’s recovery ward.
“I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be,” Shultz wrote. “Amongst other things, COVID-19 reduced my lung capacity with pneumonia.”
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Shultz revealed that when he woke up from his sedated state he was so weak that he could barely hold up his cellphone. Shultz believes that he contracted the virus when he visited a party in Miami that his boyfriend, a DJ, was playing. Since then, three other attendees of the same party have died and upwards of 38 people have become ill with coronavirus.
Since he’s been released from the hospital, Shultz says he’s looking forward to getting back to the gym, and he’s even taken some time to enjoy some of his favorite decadent foods. He went to McDonald’s, where he ordered “two double cheeseburgers, small frieds, and a strawberry shake.”
As he told Buzzfeed, “It did taste different. I think lost some of my taste, but it was good.”
And for more important news pertaining to COVID-19, make sure you know The Awful Coronavirus Symptom No One Is Talking About.