A father has detailed the “horrific” effects coronavirus has had on his young family, watching them suffer before contracting the virus himself.
Casey Hines, who until 2012 had spent the best part of a decade living in Sydney, has revealed the “agony” his wife Susan and two sons Ethan and Carson went through as they contracted COVID-19 this year in the US state of Connecticut.
“Guess what, it’s not the flu. It’s not a cold. It’s not like anything you’ve ever had, and I guarantee you it’s not anything you ever want,” he explained in a lengthy Facebook post.
Mr Hines said he and his family “did everything right” to avoid contracting the virus, minimising trips out of their home and following all the hygiene precautions as the pandemic began to take hold of the US.
But in April, Carson contracted coronavirus.
“It was a miserable experience watching your very healthy 17-year-old kid in agony, labouring to breathe, struggling to get his fever down,” Mr Hines recalled.
His condition worsened, and the family were forced to take him to the emergency department, where Carson was taken away and the family forced to wait in their car.
Thankfully, he was able to return home but the virus began to spread through his family.
First it was Ethan, then it was Susan.
“She called it ‘The Wave’ as every morning and every afternoon her body was literally overcome with misery,” Mr Hines explained.
“You could watch it take over – within minutes, she’d lose all her colour and turn ashen.”
While providing care to his family, Mr Hines himself then contracted the virus.
“I literally could not get more than a morsel of air in or out of my lungs,” he recalled after waking one night.
He set up camp on the family’s couch and was “unable to move”.
“[My] lungs burning – the feeling of someone sitting on my chest – a dry, miserable cough that hurt in every possible way, a fever that wouldn’t break, and the shivering.”
He said one evening he collapsed on the floor, shaking uncontrollably to the point he “wanted to crawl in a hole and die”.
Mr Hines’ family has now recovered from the virus but wanted to share his experience to dispel the misconception COVID-19 is merely a “bad cold”.
“COVID-19 is obviously hideously contagious... this is a really good warning.”
As the virus continues to spread globally, he called for everyone to stay at home and wear a mask – a measure that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced as compulsory in Melbourne from Thursday.
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