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.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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