A man who denied the severity of the coronavirus is now fighting for his life after he contracted the deadly virus.
Paul Russell was a conspiracy theorist who thought the virus was a ploy and would “disappear the day after the election”.
The long-distance truck driver changed his opinion when he was down with the virus.
While he survived the virus, it has severely damaged his body, perhaps permanently. He also can’t work.
“I’m gonna be on oxygen the rest of my life, according to my doctor,” he said.
Paul admits that he was wrong about coronavirus: “Before I came down with the virus, I was one of those jackasses who thought the virus would disappear the day after the election. I was one of those conspiracy theorists.”
But that all changed in November last year when he was on a run from Florida back home to Boise, Idaho, via Texas.
“I didn’t know if I was infected with Covid or what,” he told the Idaho Statesman. “My buddy was about an hour behind me. He caught up with me in Twin Falls. … He told me I didn’t look very good at all.”
By the time he was admitted to St. Luke’s Health System hospital, it was touch and go. He says that at one point he believed he was visited by his dead father.
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At one point during his two-week intensive care ordeal, a nurse called his wife for him and put her on speaker phone. She told him how much she loved him.
“Because she didn’t know if I was gonna make it through the night,” he said.
“That was the night I got the visit from my dad,” he added. “My dad’s been gone for about three years.”
Paul said he believed former US President, Donald Trump, when he told a rally in Lumberton, North Carolina, on October 24th that, “By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about [Covid-19] anymore.”
Having learnt his lesson, Paul warned sceptics, saying: “All these people that are saying that it’s fake, blah blah blah, they’re lying to themselves.”
Though Paul, 63, survived with help from an experimental treatment, he fears he may never fully recover.
He said: “Covid gave me a foggy memory, it gave me…I occasionally have speech problems.”
Scans of Paul’s lungs show severe scarring. Paul says he also suffers from constant pain in several different parts of his body. He also has dizzy spells and his heart races when he gets up to do anything.