Transcript: Experiencing COVID-19 | Mar 30, 2020

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew and one of Walter Kronkite. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a cream shirt and a checkered beige tie.

A caption on screen reads "Coping with the new normal."

Steve says THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 KEEPS RISING IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. HOWEVER, THE NUMBER LISTED AS RECOVERED, HASN'T BUDGED MUCH AT ALL. BUT ONE OF OUR OWN FROM THE AGENDA IS HOPING TO JOIN THAT LIST SHORTLY. PRODUCER PATRICIA KOZICKA TESTED POSITIVE EARLIER THIS MONTH, AND SHE JOINS US NOW VIA SKYPE FROM HER HOME IN TORONTO.

Patricia is in her early thirties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a red sweater.

Steve continues TRISH, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Patricia says HI, STEVE. BETTER. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?

Steve says WELL, I HAVEN'T BEEN COVID-19-POSITIVE AND YOU HAVE BEEN, WHICH IS WHY I'M ASKING YOU HOW YOU'RE DOING. ARE YOU FEELING ALL BETTER NOW?

The caption changes to "Patricia Kozicka. Recovering COVID-19 patient."

Patricia says MUCH BETTER. IT'S BEEN AN INTERESTING COUPLE OF WEEKS, OBVIOUSLY. I MEAN, I'M STILL NOT FULLY RECOVERED. I WAS TOLD THAT I'M SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL I'M ABSOLUTELY SYMPTOM-FREE FOR 48 HOURS, WHICH STILL HASN'T HAPPENED, BUT WAITING FOR THE DAY FOR SURE.

Steve says GOOD. WHEN DID YOU AT WHAT POINT NOTICE SOMETHING WAS OFF WITH YOUR HEALTH?

The caption changes to "Patricia Kozicka. Producer."

Patricia says IT WAS ACTUALLY THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY, MARCH 16TH, FOURTEEN DAYS FROM TODAY, WHERE I STARTED TO GET A MILD COUGH. I WAS AT A COTTAGE THAT MY HUSBAND HAD RENTED FOR MY BIRTHDAY WITH ANOTHER COUPLE, AND AS SOON AS EVERYBODY HEARS THIS COUGH, THERE'S THIS COLLECTIVE, UH-OH, BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS JUST WORRIED. THERE HAD BEEN SO MUCH COVERAGE OF IT AND, YOU KNOW, AS SOON AS YOU HEAR IT, YOU WONDER, DOES THIS MEAN THAT I NOW HAVE IT? AND THEN THE NEXT DAY WAS MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY. I WOKE UP. I SLEPT IN WAY LATER THAN USUAL. I JUST FELT LIKE MY WHOLE BODY HURT. I HAD A MASSIVE HEADACHE. I DIDN'T REALLY HAVE MUCH OF AN APPETITE. I ENDED UP GOING BACK TO BED WHERE I SPENT THE WHOLE DAY UNDER COVERS, FEELING CHILLS, FEVER, AND JUST... JUST NOT GREAT, BASICALLY. AND THEN THE NEXT DAY... YUP?

Steve says WHEN IT CAME ON, IT CAME ON HARD THEN, RIGHT?

Patricia says IT CAME ON REALLY HARD. THE SECOND DAY, IT JUST KNOCKED ME RIGHT OUT. I HAD NO ENERGY WHATSOEVER. AND THAT WAS KIND OF THE MOST PERVASIVE SYMPTOM FOR ME, WAS JUST THE LACK OF ENERGY, THE WEAKNESS, THE FATIGUE. IT REALLY, REALLY TOOK A TOLL ON ME OVER THE COMING DAYS AS WELL, EVEN WHEN WE CAME BACK INTO THE CITY. I WOULD JUST BE SLEEPING FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE DAY. THERE WAS A POINT WHERE, YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT, WE HAVE SO MUCH FOOD, BUT MY HUSBAND AND I HAD ALMOST NO ENERGY TO ACTUALLY MAKE THE FOOD THAT WE HAD PURCHASED FOR OURSELVES BEFORE ALL OF THIS BEGAN. SO THAT IS MY ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, TO JUST HAVE MAYBE SOME FOOD IN THE FREEZER THAT YOU CAN JUST WARM UP IF THIS DOES HAPPEN TO YOU BECAUSE CHANCES ARE THAT YOU WILL BE FEELING QUITE WEAK, QUITE TIRED AS WELL.

Steve says HMM. DID I HEAR RIGHT, IS YOUR BIRTHDAY IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH?

Patricia says YES, IT IS, ST. PATRICK'S DAY. DEFINITELY A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBER.

Steve says YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THE IDES OF MARCH. THAT'S NOT A GOOD DAY, HISTORY HAS...

Patricia says SEVENTEENTH.

Steve says OH, 17TH. YOU'RE A LITTLE FURTHER AWAY THEN. YOU MENTIONED YOUR HUSBAND OLIVIER. DID HE GET THIS AS WELL?

Patricia says HE DID. HIS CASE WAS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT IN THE SENSE THAT HE DIDN'T REALLY HAVE MUCH OF A COUGH. FOR HIM IT STARTED A LITTLE BIT EARLIER WITH A BIT OF A SORE THROAT. BUT SAME THING IN TERMS OF REALLY BAD BODY ACHES. EVERYTHING WAS JUST HURTING. HE HAD FEVER FOR LONGER AND HE HAD REALLY, REALLY BAD HEADACHES AS WELL.

Steve says HMM. NOW, DID YOU BOTH SUSPECT THAT YOU WERE COVID-19 POSITIVE?

Patricia says WE DID JUST BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE BEEN HEARING ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS AND WE CHECKED A LOT OF THE BOXES. WE HAD ALSO BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEBODY WHO HAD COME BACK FROM THE U.S. AND DIDN'T SELF-ISOLATE, SO IN THE BACK OF MY MIND, I SUSPECTED THAT I HAD IT BUT THEN, AS I PROGRESSED THROUGH THE PROCESS, I REALIZED I HAD BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEBODY ELSE WHOSE HUSBAND'S CO-WORKER HAD TESTED POSITIVE, AND I REALIZED, IT IS JUST MORE WIDESPREAD THAN WE REALIZED EVEN AT THAT POINT. AND BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN AN INABILITY TO TEST AS MUCH AS PERHAPS MANY WOULD LIKE, WE'RE JUST NOT AT THAT LEVEL, WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY INFECTED.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW CATEGORICALLY WHO OR WHERE YOU GOT THIS FROM?

Patricia says I WAS TOLD THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, THERE'S NO WAY OF KNOWING FOR SURE. IT'S JUST THEY'RE SPREAD IN THE COMMUNITY, AND EVEN PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE SYMPTOMS MIGHT BE SPREADING IT. SO IT'S TRULY IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW. I MEAN, I WAS TAKING THE SUBWAY. I WAS GROCERY SHOPPING WITH EVERYBODY ELSE, YOU KNOW, FACING BARREN SHELVES. SO IT REALLY COULD HAVE HAPPENED ANYWHERE. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO BE ABLE TO TELL.

Steve says DID YOU GET TESTED SO THAT YOU CONCLUSIVELY KNEW YOUR DIAGNOSIS?

Patricia says I DID. INITIALLY... WELL, I TRIED TO CALL TELEHEALTH. I WASN'T ABLE TO GET THROUGH. I CALLED MY FAMILY DOCTOR'S OFFICE. I WAS TOLD INITIALLY JUST TO SELF-ISOLATE. BUT THEN I DID START EXPERIENCING SOME SHORTNESS OF BREATH, AND SO I CONTACTED THE WOMEN'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL, AND I FILLED OUT THE ASSESSMENT FORM THAT THEY HAVE ONLINE. A DOCTOR CALLS YOU BACK, ASKS YOU MORE QUESTIONS, AND BASED ON THAT DISCUSSION, I WAS TOLD THAT I COULD COME IN FOR A TEST. MY HUSBAND WENT THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS. HE WAS TOLD JUST TO KEEP SELF-ISOLATING. AND SO I, ON A SATURDAY... YOU KNOW, THIS WAS SIX DAYS AFTER COMING DOWN WITH THE FIRST SYMPTOMS, I LOOKED UP HOW FAR THE HOSPITAL WAS. IT WAS A 40-MINUTE WALK, WHICH BASED ON MY ENERGY LEVEL, I JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO WALK THAT FAR. SO I DIDN'T WANT TO, OF COURSE, TAKE AN UBER OR TRANSIT BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE OF INFECTING ANYBODY. SO THE ONLY OPTION AVAILABLE TO ME, BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A CAR, WAS TO JUST HOP ON MY BIKE AND TAKE A 15-MINUTE RIDE TO THE HOSPITAL...

Steve says YOU ARE KIDDING ME!

Patricia says NO.

Steve says YOU CYCLED TO THE HOSPITAL? YOU CYCLED TO THE HOSPITAL...

Patricia says I'M SORRY. I DID. I'M A TROUPER. BUT... AND I WAS EXPECTING THAT I WOULD BE STANDING IN LINE FOR HOURS DESPITE HAVING GONE THROUGH THE PRE-SCREENING PROCESS, AND MUCH TO MY SURPRISE, THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOBODY THERE. THERE WERE TWO SEPARATE DOORS, ONE WAS FOR PEOPLE WHO HADN'T GONE THROUGH THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS, AND THERE WAS ANOTHER DOOR THAT... FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO HAD RECEIVED A HOSPITAL FAST-TRACK I.D. AND IT WAS JUST EMPTINESS. THERE WERE SIGNS ALONG THE HOSPITAL WALL FOR PEOPLE TO STAND 2 METRES APART, BUT I WAS THE ONLY PERSON THERE, AND SO FROM THE TIME THAT I ARRIVED, THEY MADE ME SANITIZE MY HANDS, PUT A MASK ON. THEY DID THE SWAB WITH THE HUGE... WHAT LOOKS LIKE A HUGE Q-TIP THAT THEY STICK AS FAR IN AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN...

Steve says OKAY, HANG ON. LET ME FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THAT. I'VE HEARD VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE DESCRIBE THAT AS A VERY... THEY TAKE THAT LONG Q-TIP AND THEY STICK IT RIGHT UP YOUR SINUSES. IS THAT WHAT THEY DO?

Patricia says THEY DO. THEY DID IT IN ONE NOSTRIL FOR ME. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO GET TWO, DEPENDING WHERE YOU ARE, IT SOUNDS LIKE. THEY WARN YOU THAT IT'S GOING TO BE UNPLEASANT. THEY MAKE YOU PUT YOUR MASK DOWN SO YOUR MOUTH IS STILL COVERED SO IN CASE YOU COUGH, YOU DON'T INFECT THEM, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE COVERED FROM HEAD TO TOE, THEY HAVE THE MASK, VISOR, BOOTIES, EVERYTHING, SOMETHING YOU'VE ONLY SEEN IN FILMS. THEY TIP YOUR HEAD BACK, THEY STICK IT IN, AND IT'S GOING SO FAR... YOU CAN FEEL YOUR EYES WELLING A BIT AS THEY'RE STICKING AND TURNING, AND I JUST REMEMBER FEELING... MAKING LITTLE FISTS OUT OF MY HANDS BECAUSE IT WAS SO UNCOMFORTABLE. BUT IT'S OVER PRETTY FAST. I MEAN, LIKE I SAID, FROM THE TIME THAT I ARRIVED TO THE TIME I WAS ALL DONE, IT WAS 6 MINUTES.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S PRETTY QUICK. ALL RIGHT. IN OUR LAST MINUTE THEN, TRISH, TELL ME THIS: WE KEEP SAYING THIS TO YOUNGER PEOPLE OR EVERYBODY KEEPS SAYING IT TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY'RE INVULNERABLE AND WHO CAN'T CONTRACT IT... THERE ARE TOO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO THINK THIS IS AN OLDER PERSON'S PROBLEM. WHAT DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE TELL YOU ABOUT THAT OLD WIVES' TALE.

Patricia says IT FRUSTRATES ME VERY MUCH. WE'VE SEEN REPORTS OF PEOPLE OUT AND ABOUT, DEFINITELY NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD SYMPTOMS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SELF-ISOLATING. THEY HAVEN'T BEEN DOING THAT. I EVEN HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WITH WHOM MY GRANDMOTHER LIVES WHO IS ALSO NOT TAKING THIS AS SERIOUSLY AS OUR FAMILY WOULD LIKE. AND SO IT'S DEEPLY, DEEPLY CONCERNING BECAUSE MY CASE WAS A VERY MILD ONE. I FEEL EXTREMELY FORTUNATE THAT IT WASN'T WORSE, THAT I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE MANY PEOPLE WHO DO REQUIRE A VENTILATOR. BUT OTHERS WON'T BE SO LUCKY. AND BY GOING OUT, BY NOT FOLLOWING WHAT WE'VE BEEN ASKED TO DO, WHICH IS TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCE, TO STAY AT HOME, WE ARE PUTTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE'S LIVES AT RISK. AND IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT. I'M JUST BEGGING FOR PEOPLE TO JUST STOP BEING SELFISH AND TO STAY AT HOME.

Steve says GOOD ADVICE. IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU DOING SO MUCH BETTER AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU BACK AT THE SHOP ONCE THIS THING IS ALL OVER AND WE CAN ACTUALLY GO BACK TO WORK. YOU STAY WELL, OKAY?

Patricia says ME TOO. THANKS, STEVE.

Watch: Experiencing COVID-19