A New York make-up artist who lately contracted COVID-19 is sharing his expertise with the “virus from hell” in hopes that individuals will take it critically and keep dwelling.
Brooklyn resident Matthew Allen tells PEOPLE he was a wholesome particular person with no pre-existing well being circumstances earlier than he contracted the coronavirus earlier this month.
“I’m a wonderfully wholesome one who’s not — in any method, form or kind — compromised. I care for my physique. I eat proper … and this simply nailed me,” the nationwide make-up artist, 38, admits. “It felt like I had been hit by a truck.”
Whereas a lot of those that are in poor health have been unable to pinpoint precisely when or how they had been uncovered to the sickness, Allen says he is aware of it occurred on March 13 after assembly up with a small group of pals.
“It was very low key. We simply shared a bottle of wine, frolicked for a few hours,” he explains. “Nothing that might have been outrageous or one thing that you’d have thought warranted a transmission of this.”
RELATED: Ohio Mother of four Says She ‘Was Struck Like a Lightning Bolt’ After Contracting Coronavirus
The next night, one in every of Allen’s pals contacted him to let him know that he was exhibiting signs and experiencing a low-grade fever. Regardless of not feeling nice himself, Allen didn’t suppose a lot of it and banked on his good well being to get him by way of.
“I used to be feeling not great by Saturday however I sort of assumed possibly I had one too many glasses of wine,” he says. “By Sunday morning, after I awoke, I had positively felt feverish and tremendous achy. I had chills and that’s the second I sort of knew, like, ‘Uh-oh’ … It simply speaks to how contagious it actually is.”
Realizing he might have the virus, Allen says he instantly “felt this overwhelming sense of disgrace, concern and denial” that prevented him from wanting to inform his father, who works as a doctor in Kansas and is often his go-to for all medical points.
“Anytime I’ve skilled something with my well being, I’d simply attain out to him or get a prescription and we’d sort of deal with it,” he explains. “As a result of it was so contemporary, it was nonetheless such a scary factor. I used to be actually scared to inform him.”
“We’ve all had a chilly, we’ve all had the flu and this felt distinctive, this felt completely different,” he provides. “This felt like one thing my physique had by no means been by way of earlier than.”
Allen finally did inform his father and later tried to get a thermometer at an area pharmacy, ensuring to cowl his face with a bandana and sweatshirt. Whereas he was there, the make-up artist notes how he felt ashamed and undesirable.
“These folks would look immediately at me and say, ‘No, we’re offered out,’ and sort of gave me a appear to be, ‘Get out of right here,’” he explains. “I do know I regarded like demise, however at that time, I used to be simply terrified and I needed to know what was occurring.”
After his unsuccessful makes an attempt, Allen headed to his native Pressing Care. On his first go to, he was given medicine and advised to not come again except he was in vital situation. However just a few days later, when his sickness didn’t get any higher, Allen returned and begged them to check him for COVID-19.
Nurses administered Influenza A and B exams first — each of which got here again adverse — earlier than giving Allen the COVID-19 check and recommending that he go dwelling and quarantine himself.
RELATED VIDEO: Coronavirus Myths Debunked: Particular Pathogens Skilled Says ‘The Reality Speaks For Itself’
In order that’s precisely what he did. Over the course of the final week, Allen has been dwelling by himself, affected by debilitating ache and exhaustion.
“There was one second the place I actually laid in my mattress for 22 hours straight and solely bought as much as pee one time,” he recollects. “I felt like my physique was actually simply giving up on me. It was simply a lot simply to even lay there and rollover.”
Allen additionally says he’s been fighting social isolation, particularly as somebody who works with folks face-to-face for a dwelling.
“It’s been very, very laborious. I’m very a lot a social individual. … I simply want I did have a hug,” he explains. “It’s been, like, 15 days with none human contact. And if you’re sick, it doesn’t matter what age you’re, you simply need your mother, you need your loved ones, you need somebody who will be there for you. And I believe that really has been worse than this illness itself.”
Regardless of not feeling his finest, Allen discovered it in himself to publicly share his story on Fb. In a March 25 video, the make-up artist defined to his followers what had occurred and the way “nobody is protected from the illness.”
“With the outbreak and the unfold, I used to be simply actually upset as a result of I used to be seeing folks taking their children out for small playdates, and nonetheless getting collectively for comfortable hours,” he explains of sharing the 10-minute clip. “It actually scared me.”
“I needed to be accountable to what was occurring to me,” he provides. “I believed it was one thing that individuals wanted to listen to.”
Since then, it has been considered hundreds of instances with over 500 supportive feedback, a lot of whom are from folks Allen hasn’t heard from in years — one thing he says was a breath of contemporary air amid his current difficulties.
“I positively was not anticipating that by any means,” he says. “It actually sort of introduced me again to life in a method. I used to be so emotionally spent, mentally spent, bodily spent and studying all of that was like, ‘Ugh, this feels so great.’”
As for what he needs folks to know concerning the virus?
“It doesn’t matter what you imagine, simply be accountable for what’s occurring. That is killing folks,” he says. “Whether or not you are feeling nice otherwise you really feel horrible, we’re being requested to remain inside for a cause. That is science. That is medical. This isn’t an agenda. This isn’t political. That is nearly ensuring that we are able to do all the things that we are able to on our personal to assist forestall what is going on.”
As of Friday afternoon, there have been a minimum of 100,973 instances and 1,572 deaths attributed to coronavirus in america, in line with the New York Instances. New York at present leads the nation with a minimum of 44,635 instances and a minimum of 519 deaths.
As details about the coronavirus pandemic quickly modifications, PEOPLE is dedicated to offering the newest knowledge in our protection. A few of the info on this story might have modified after publication. For the newest on COVID-19, readers are inspired to make use of on-line sources from CDC, WHO, and native public well being departments and go to our coronavirus hub.