Disturbing new side effects emerge in coronavirus patients

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 18:37:41-04

CLEVELAND — While some say wearing a mask infringes on their freedoms, one coronavirus survivor is sharing her concerns about skipping them, as well as a lack of social distancing ahead of the Fourth of July holiday which is known for its large get-togethers.

Watch reporter Mike Brookbank's report at 6 p.m. on News 5.

For nearly two weeks, Marilyn Schneider was so sick with the coronavirus she required hospitalization and was intubated.

“Wearing a mask is much more comfortable than wearing a ventilator,” said Schneider.

But based on what she has seen the last several weeks, Schneider said she is worried.

“I have concerns that more people are going to get very ill. I don’t want to get it back again, and I don’t want anybody to experience what I have,” said Schneider.

Health officials are pointing to “caution fatigue” for a more laxed attitude about face coverings, social distancing and gatherings.

“America may have forgotten about COVID, but COVID certainly has not forgotten about America,” said Dr. Pravin George.

George, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic said he is seeing a new disturbing trend among COVID-19 patients.

“Brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom – all of those things can start to become a problem,” said George.

George said a growing number of people are experiencing delirium during their treatment.

“After these patients leave the hospital some of these symptoms are there,” said George.

They include paranoia, anger and hallucinations.

"The hallucination is what got me to the hospital,” said Schneider.

In some cases, the change in behavior resembles Alzheimer’s Disease.

“You start to lose your memories, you start to lose your functions. We’re trying to really find out what effect COVID-19 is having on the brain itself,” said George.

So, while many patients may survive their bout with COVID-19, there’s new concern of long-lasting cognitive implications.

“Once you start having issues with your brain, your life kind of goes on a downward from there,” said George.

While she’s on an upward swing with her health, Marilyn Schneider is grateful and encouraging others to keep their guard up.

“Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance until we have a better handle on this,” said Schneider.

Especially as we get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, with COVID-19 cases spiking across the country.

“My independence is a wonderful freedom, but it doesn’t mean a thing if I’m not alive and my loved ones aren’t alive, and my community isn’t alive,” said Schneider.

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