About three weeks out from her initial diagnosis, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin is reflecting on her experience battling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Baldwin returned to CNN Monday evening and shared her takeaways from having and then recovering from the illness, which has caused more than 50,000 deaths in the United States.
“Boy am I glad to be back,” she said. “COVID-19 gave me a beating physically and mentally for two weeks and then I took the third just to recoup. Severe body aches, fever, chills and — just ask my husband — a lot of tears.”
“I never knew when it would end,” Baldwin, 40, added. “It was relentlessly scary and lonely but I was one of the lucky ones.”
The news anchor first revealed that she had coronavirus on April 3 via an Instagram post. She recovered by April 23 and tested negative, officially becoming coronavirus-free and announcing that she will donate her plasma to those who are sick.
In a “coronavirus diary” posed to CNN’s website last week, Baldwin shared the details of her experience, noting that the physical symptoms were exacerbated by the loneliness of having to self-quarantine.
“I went to some very dark places, especially at night. Evenings would bring on an eerie melancholy, which was particularly odd for me — a glass-half-full/chemically blessed kind of gal,” she wrote. “But under the influence of coronavirus, as each day came to a close, I would often cry, unable to stave off the sense of dread and isolation I felt about what was to come.”
Her first symptom, she said, was smelling the “acrid ammonia-like odor of jewelry cleaner,” despite there not being any cleaner around. By the next morning, Baldwin had completely lost her sense of taste and smell and her energy was “zapped.”
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Towards the end of her segment Monday night, Baldwin began to tear up while thanking those who reached out to her while she was sick.
“You know getting sick was awful, but hearing from thousands of you sharing your kindness and generosity with me through texts and emails and a lot of DMs on Instagram was the biggest gift I unexpectedly received these last few weeks,” she shared. “And it showed me how, even when the world stops and takes a collective breath, we are all capable of showing up for one another.”
She continued, “I am so moved by the millions of you who have been willing to sacrifice so much in these last few weeks all for the safety of your fellow Americans. I know it's tough and it still is. When the world reopens for good, let's remember these more challenging times and remind ourselves we have the power to take care of one another.”
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