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Coronavirus denier details his terrifying battle with COVID-19

Updated Sep 29th, 2020 2:06PM EDT
Coronavirus News
Image: Viesturs/Adobe

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  • 29-year-old Chris Grailey recently detailed his harrowing battle with the coronavirus after ending up in the ICU with severe symptoms.
  • Grailey previously thought the coronavirus was overblown and didn’t take COVID-19 safety precautions seriously.
  • Describing the experience as hell-like, Grailey is now warning others not to make the same mistakes he made.

Given that there have been nearly 1 million coronavirus deaths across the globe thus far — 200,000 of which were in the U.S. alone — you might be inclined to think that everyone can now recognize and appreciate the severity of the virus. Of course, the cruel irony is that the coronavirus death tally is so high precisely because people still downplay the severity of the coronavirus and, in turn, refuse to abide by simple coronavirus safety guidelines.

While it’s true that the coronavirus tends to have a greater impact on older individuals and people who have existing comorbidities, that’s no reason for younger people to assume that they’re immune. Indeed, the past few months have shown us that the coronavirus can sometimes cause incredibly serious complications in young and otherwise healthy patients.


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To this point, the Manchester Evening News recently highlighted the case of Chris Grailey, a 29-year old who scoffed at the danger associated with the coronavirus only to fall gravely ill after contracting it.

According to the report, Grailey, like many people his age, assumed he was “invincible” and was also quick to dismiss the virus as an overblown and sensationalized story. As a result, Grailey didn’t take coronavirus safety measures seriously and would routinely not wear a mask. Grailey, it’s worth noting, had no pre-existing conditions and is now in the ICU aiming to recover.

In a video recorded by Grailey, he details the struggles he’s had while also making a point to tell people listening to “learn from his mistakes.”

“I paid the price,” Grailey said. “I have got no underlying health issues. I don’t want anyone making the same mistakes as me. Now I’m in intensive care, waiting to get more treatment, and not knowing if I’m coming out the other side. So I really want you to take this message on board because it could happen to anyone, please please take care.”

Similar to other stories we’ve seen over the past few months, Grailey endured severe cold sweats, lost his sense of taste and smell, and had difficulty breathing at times.

Grailey said that the experience “has been as close to hell I have ever been.”

“I can’t breathe, walk, move. I’m like a zombie,” he added.

Incidentally, Dr. Deborah Lee recently articulated why she believes breathlessness is the scariest coronavirus symptom of all:

What must it be like to experience acute, severe breathlessness? When I try to imagine this, I think about how it feels when you dive into a swimming pool and swim towards the surface, desperate to take a breath. There’s an excruciating feeling of frantic anticipation about the need to take a breath—a sort of bursting feeling inside your chest. This usually only lasts seconds, because as you break through the surface of the water, you take a huge gasp of air, and instantaneously that frantic need-to-breathe feeling disappears.

But imagine if you felt like that for most of the time—for example, if you had severe COVID pneumonia? Each gasp you manage to take fails to end that desperate feeling away. It’s absolutely, unimaginably distressing.

Towards the end of the video, Grailey cautions people to take the coronavirus seriously.

“This is real,” Grailey said with emphasis, “it’s real-life killing me. Life is too short to risk your health I have learned the hard way I don’t want people making the same mistakes I have.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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