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#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Details Partner’s COVID-19 Battle: “Felt Like One Wrong Move Could Kill Him”


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Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, on Thursday took to Twitter to share details about her partner’s experience with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. According to Burke, she opened up in order to help others as the pandemic continues to spread across the globe.

“I went back and forth about talking about this but my partner has Covid and the last two weeks of my life have been some of the scariest,” she wrote at the start of a Twitter thread. “The reason why I’m sharing is because I’ve read so much information but the most informative has been first person accounts of folks with it.”

Burke said that she and her partner were exposed in mid-March. “He was deemed an ‘essential worker’ because he works with the homeless and was exposed again at work. It took about three days to figure out that we were probably dealing with Covid,” she continued. “In 3 days he went from feeling a little weak to 101.5 fever.”

Burke also wrote about an unexpected symptom. “Along with the fever he had something we had not read about: sensitive skin. His skin felt like it was burning – even when he barely had a fever of 99+. We literally used aloe gel for sunburn to soothe it,” she explained. She was later told that others had similar symptoms.

Burke then said that her partner had other symptoms they had previously heard about: “fatigue, escalating fever, terrible headaches.” However, she added that her partner “had no cough early on.”

Burke said that her partner later went to the ER because his fever spiked to 102.3. Meanwhile, she also admitted herself because she was feeling ill. They were both tested for the coronavirus. Burke’s test came back negative, but her partner’s was positive. “They said we could go home bc he didn’t have respiratory issues yet. I asked the doctor under what circumstances to bring him back and she said ‘if he even skips a breath call 911,’” wrote Burke. “So, of course, I went home and stayed up all night watching him breathe.”

The next few days were “BAD,” Burke tweeted. “The worst was day 8 when his fever went to 102.9 and he began to have convulsions,” she wrote, adding that their doctor told Burke that she “needed to get his fever down.”

“I put him in the shower (a whole other story) and gave him Tylenol cold & flu extra strength (he took that at night) and it started to come down in about two hours,” Burke recalled.

“Just have to say this was the SCARIEST night because the pressure of making the wrong decision was overwhelming. Felt like one wrong move could kill him,” she continued. “I didn’t sleep at all. But by morning his fever was at 101+ again and he was calmed. This was the peak I believe.”

These days, Burke’s partner is “not 100 percent but he’s much, much better,” she said. “I don’t wish this on *anyone* as a patient or caretaker.”

As for how she’s currently feeling, Burke wrote, “I have still not had any real symptoms. I’ve had headaches and body aches that are likely exhaustion but no real fever. I’m operating as if I’m asymptomatic though just to be safe. And we are trying to keep some distance just in case.”

As of Thursday, more than 434,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., with over 14,000 of those resulting in deaths.

Read Burke’s entire Twitter thread here.

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