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.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

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Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

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via Budweiser

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We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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