‘I thought I was going to die’

People don’t understand the genuine horror that is COVID-19.

Brenda Fox only leaves her house for essentials. She is vulnerable to COVID-19. Nicholas Conway/Kicker


Nicholas Conway

Unless you have been living under a rock, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the entire world. From the busy cities to the smallest of towns, everyone has had their life affected in some way by the deadly virus.

Many, however, don’t know exactly how ruthless the virus can be.

Dan Tobin is one of 283 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador. While mourning the loss of his brother at Caul’s funeral home in St. John’s, Tobin contracted the virus.

“I was at work and my wife gave me a call and said that one of the girls who had been at the funeral home had tested positive,” said Tobin.

A Canada Post mail carrier in St. John’s, he immediately went home and then got tested. To his surprise, he was positive.

“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t shake people’s hands, I didn’t hug a lot of people,” Tobin said. “People were very sympathetic, had a lot of people dropping off food for us because we were quarantined.”

Tobin experienced shortness of breath, diarrhea, and a lack of energy at first. But as the days went on, the symptoms grew stronger.

“Believe in what the doctors say. If they want you to wear a mask, wear a mask. If they want you to stay in, stay in. It is a very serious thing not to be taken lightly.”

“After about three days my temperature started to spike,” Tobin said. “I would get up out of bed in the middle of the night and the bed would be soaking wet, then I would get back in and be froze.”

This virus, says Tobin, is nothing to scoff at.

“It is certainly not like getting a flu. I thought I was going to die,” Tobin said, “I was nervous, my doctor was nervous because I was having trouble breathing, pains in my neck and back. Believe it, and if you can avoid it, avoid it.”

Still fearing for his health, the 61-year-old Tobin would only do an interview by phone.

Tobin’s fears and concerns are echoed by Brenda Fox.

“I’m quite nervous about (COVID-19) because I’m in an at-risk age group and suffer from bronchial issues,” Fox said. “It limits what I can do.”

While Fox can still see people inside her own bubble, she shies away from other activities.

“I only go (outside) to get necessities,” Fox said.

Tobin believes the Newfoundland government has done well to contain the virus. Currently, there are only eight active cases in the province while 271 people have recovered from the virus.

“Believe in what the doctors say,” Tobin pleads. “If they want you to wear a mask, wear a mask. If they want you to stay in, stay in. It is a very serious thing not to be taken lightly.”

Tobin still has not returned to work months after having the virus. Despite this, he remains optimistic about his recovery.

“Maybe my breathing may never come back to normal like it was before because there is some scar tissue on my lungs,” Tobin said. “I may not be able to run a marathon, but it will get better over time.”





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