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Nurse's photos show the drastic effects of his 8-week hospitalization with COVID-19

Before contracting the coronavirus, Mike Schultz was a healthy 43-year-old—an avid exerciser with no underlying medical conditions. Eight weeks later, he's lost 50 pounds and is now on a long journey of recovery.

Schultz, who lives and works as a nurse in California, has shared before and after photos on his Instagram and Facebook accounts, showing an alarming transformation in his body during the 57 days he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

As reported by Buzzfeed News, Schultz was on a trip to Boston in mid-March when he and his boyfriend started feeling ill. The couple had recently attended the a week long Winter Party Festival in Miami, an event attended by thousands. The festival had ended on March 10—the day before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.


"We knew it was out there," Schultz told BuzzFeed News. "There were no real restrictions in place, though. No lockdowns. We just thought, Well, we gotta wash our hands more and be wary of touching our face."

By March 16, Schultz was sick enough to go to the hospital—but his 103 degree fever and fluid-filled lungs were just the beginning. Within four days, he was taken to New England Sinai Hospital, where he was intubated for four-and-a-half weeks.

"I didn't think it was as serious as it was until after things started happening," said Schultz. "I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that. I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, have preexisting conditions or not. It can affect you."

Schultz told Buzzfeed that the photo on the left was taken about a month before he fell ill. The photo on the right was taken in a recovery ward. He admitted standing up just to take the photo was exhausting.

After weeks of being away from his loved ones, Schultz has finally back home. Today, he and his boyfriend celebrated his birthday with some Boston Market grub. "Nice to get out of the house for a little bit," he wrote on Instagram. "Able to do more and more every day."

Schultz explained on Instagram that May 6 was the first day he had really walked since being hospitalized. He mentioned that he still has "months of recovery" ahead of him. He wants people to understand the seriousness of COVID-19, even for people who seem healthy enough to not be affected by it—and he's not the first recovering COVID-19 patient to share this message.

"This disease is no joke people," he wrote. "If you think you're too young to get it, think again."

Wishing Nurse Schultz the best of luck, strength and resilience as he makes his way back to health.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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