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‘I have never, ever felt this ill:’ Ahlquist, family contract COVID-19

By Nicole Camarda / Idaho News 6

Crush The Curve co-founder Tommy Ahlquist brought the first public COVID-19 tests to Idaho last spring. Now he and his family have come down with the virus even after he said they followed safety guidelines.

After days of fatigue, muscle pain, and severe headaches, Ahlquist and his family are on the mend.

“I had tons of just really horrible body aches and congestion as it went into my lungs. I have never, ever felt this ill,” Ahlquist said.

Being an emergency room doctor for so many years, Ahlquist says he’s encountered some of the worst sicknesses, but nothing compared to how he felt after contracting COVID-19.

“We just tried to take vitamins and things that keep your body strong. Lots of fluids, Tylenol and ibuprofen, to keep that fever down, but it was brutal,” Ahlquist said.

[First-person account: I got COVID in Boise. I’m fine, but here’s what I went through]

‘COVID shame’

Ahlquist also mentioned his family felt a little bit of “COVID shame” or guilt from testing positive.

In a tweet, he says, “they felt an immediate anxiety of who we may have unknowingly exposed.”

“The first thing you think of is then ‘okay, who did I expose?’ Which is immediately where your mind goes. ‘Okay, if I was exposed on this day and I’ve had this many days of being around people, did I expose anybody else?'” Ahlquist said. “I think so many people are exposed now, there’s no reason to feel ashamed.”

Influx of patients

Nurse Practitioner and owner of Table Rock Mobile Medicine, Brad Bigford, says he has had a massive influx of patients of all ages request to be seen over the last few weeks.

“The people that are doing everything right, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about it because you tried. But people that aren’t doing anything, they are the ones that are responsible for their own actions,” Bigford said

Ahlquist, Bigford and other medical professionals encourage the public to follow the recommended guidelines to reduce the spread, especially with the upcoming holiday season.

“This is serious. We are doing everything we can, but by the time you get into the hospital, there’s only so much we can do,” Bigford said.

Ahlquist added this disease does not discriminate, and it can affect everyone differently.

“It will knock you down and people should listen. They should wear a mask. They should social distance. They should follow what health care professionals are telling them. Otherwise, we are going to pay the price individually, as families and as a community,” Ahlquist said.

To read more about the CDC’s guidelines for holiday gatherings, visit their website.

Disclosure: Ahlquist’s firm BVA Development is a BoiseDev sponsor. The firm had no role in the selection of this story, and our partner KIVI-TV is responsible for the editorial content.

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