Culture

49ers beat reporter Cam Inman shares his COVID-19 experience


Day 4 of my COVID-19 battle is when my chest tightened, as if by a woodshop vice.

Sleeping more than a couple hours wasn’t possible. Turning on my side wasn’t working. This wasn’t going well.

The pain came at different times, in random body parts as the coronavirus raged. My mind drifted from mortality to family and even football.

Continuing to report on the 49ers and NFL offered a much-needed distraction, to an extent, from the pain, the headaches, the fear of infecting others.

I endured our global nightmare last month. So did my wife. We got it from a friend who unwittingly brought COVID with her on a surprise visit from out of state. All of us are on the mend, and no close contacts got it.

This, here, is not to lecture you like a health or government official. This is not to hype you up with a “Crush The Virus!” T-shirt slogan.

Sharing my experiences – from sickness to recovery – hopefully will help those curious about COVID-19, for those weighing high-risk contacts this Thanksgiving, and for those who wonder just how the NFL can pull off a non-bubble season in a pandemic.

As the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader plays on your wall-mounted televisions, it is both dumbfounding and commendable that this super-strange season has reached Week 11 of 17.

Cases are on the rise. Every team is in “Intensive Protocol” to thwart COVID-19 outbreaks. Of course, no one wants it. But nearly 100 players and 175 team personnel have tested positive since August, and the 49ers just put a season-high seven players on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list during this past week’s bye.

What did COVID-19 feel like?

Every player’s addition to the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list is an impersonal transaction. Then come reporters’ tweets: “(Player A) is going on the reserve/COVID list. He will miss practice time but should be fine for the next game.”

Sure about that? That’s stupidly presumptuous about a mysterious illness that, outside of the NFL’s macho world, has been deadly to some, dismissed by others.

I detested seeing any kind of numbers, statistics or blanket statements as my COVID-19 symptoms first struck. Survival rates and infections per county meant nothing as I braced for my body’s reaction.

A day after I sat in the Levi’s Stadium press box and covered the 49ers’ upset loss to Philadelphia on Oct. 4, my wife tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately alerted my colleagues and the 49ers, who diligently reviewed in-house video and confirmed I abided by mask-wearing and social-distancing protocol.

I successfully avoided what the county deemed high-risk contact: a 15-minute conversation.

There is no more press box banter, just plexiglass dividers between seats every 6 feet.

After taking a drive-thru nasal swab test at my local clinic that Monday, I went on a 6-mile run in the Pleasanton hills, feeling healthy and free.

Later, a slight cough developed. The next day, a headache set in so severe that it felt like the burning sun sat atop my shoulders. I went to bed …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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