Last week, Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association executive director Larry Law disclosed on social media that he had contracted the new coronavirus. Admitting to being "sad, scared, and missing" his wife, Abraham Associates commission sales rep Sandra Law, and their infant daughter, Vivian, Law wrote on Facebook: "I woke up with a fever, cough and tight chest. I went to the ER and luckily my symptoms are mild enough that I can self quarantine. It more or less feels like a mild flu with a tight chest. I have asthma, which is why it may have been easier for me to contract it."
In a March 31 letter to GLIBA booksellers and other members included in the organization's newsletter, Law wrote the following, which may be informative for the larger publishing/bookselling community:
Some of you may have heard I tested positive for COVID-19. I debated whether I should share this information publicly. Ultimately, I decided to for a few reasons. I want you, my bookselling friends and family, to know this issue is real, has affected someone you know, is manageable and that we need to take every precaution to stop it from spreading. I also want my situation to help ground what is happening in reality and hopefully make it less anxiety inducing for everyone. I have highlighted the most frequently asked questions, and am answering them from a patient’s perspective. I hope this helps bring you some peace and lets you know there is some positivity to what seems like an endless and powerfully negative situation.
What were your symptoms?
A dry cough, restricted breathing, chills, sweats, body aches and a fever of 100.5.
How are you treating it?
I have been self-quarantining. I am not staying at home with Sandra and Vivian. I am staying hydrated, eating lots of warm liquids like soup, coffee, tea, etc. Taking vitamin C and trying to eat regularly. I am also using a humidifier and trying to rest as much as possible.
Where or how did you contract it?
I do not know. I started showing symptoms six days after the last time I had been in public. The grocery store and Walgreens were the last public locations I had been before symptoms showed. I have asthma and I am a habitual face toucher. I cannot confirm, but that combination probably made me more susceptible to contracting it.
How do you feel?
I feel really good. My first day of symptoms was terrible. Since then, my symptoms have been mild, and each day is better and better. Restricted breathing has been the only consistent issue. As of today, I would compare it to being a Midwesterner in Colorado-- I get winded easily and it feels like I haven’t adjusted to the elevation.
This is scary but manageable. Very fortunately, my symptoms were mild. Having had the virus, I am positive many of us have had it and just didn’t know. If I had not gotten so sick the first day, I would have not gone to the hospital. I would have assumed my asthma was acting up or I had an upper respiratory infection. This is one of the reasons we need to take every precaution until this is over. With the lack of available testing, it is almost impossible to know who has it. Please take care of yourself. We will get through this. The outpouring of messages and positivity has been overwhelming and I am so grateful. I am doing great and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing my bookselling family again.