Many on social media, including in the Sheboygan County area, are spreading erroneous COVID-19 conspiracy theories that they are getting from alternative media and/or from alternative medicine practitioners. These conspiracy theories serve to dissuade people from taking simple precautions that have been proven to slow the spread of Coronavirus until effective treatments or a vaccine is available.
On a website called Reddit, there are what are called “subreddits” for virtually any topic. Several are for those who were infected with COVID-19, or suspect they may be infected. (Some are linked to at the end of this article). The forums are for regular people to share experiences, seek answers, or compare notes. These are REAL people, not “government operatives” trying to put “fear” into people for the purpose of “stealing our liberties.”
While most people who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, or none at all, there are many survivors who have been battling serious, lingering symptoms for months. Some had preexisting conditions, but many didn’t. Some were young, healthy and running marathons before being sidelined for months with COVID-19 followed by chronic fatigue, reduced lung function, and heart and neurological symptoms that doctors are unable to treat, because the virus is so new (or “novel”).
One woman from the Sheboygan area who spoke to me, who asked not to be named, said she contracted the virus while out-of-state, and said she hasn’t been able to take a deep breath in months. She is also seeing a cardiologist regularly after developing a heart problem. Many on the Reddit have shared similar experiences. Some have strange neurological symptoms. Prior to contracting COVID-19, the Sheboygan area woman said she suffered from severe allergies and a compromised immune system. She told me, “People who have no knowledge of what this virus is capable of doing need to see someone first hand suffering from it.”
The following subreddits offer first-hand accounts from survivors, and friends or family members of those who have died. Keep in mind that most people who have mild symptoms won’t post on these forums, therefore these forums don’t represent the majority of people who contract the virus. But they give first-hand accounts of why we should wear masks and social distance to protect others, because merely being overweight, or having Diabetes, or an autoimmune disease, or even vaping, may put someone at a higher risk.