May 30, 2020

‘Felt like something hit me with a frying pan:’Chicago actor describes coping with COVID-19

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CHICAGO — Chicago actor Mitchel Fain is one of the hundreds of in Cook County battling COVID-19.

He described the virus as the worst flu he’s ever
had.

It hit him hard, about two weeks ago and he said
he’s just starting to feel better.

“I was wrecked,” he said. “It felt like something
hit me with a frying pan.”

Fain was in Florida with friends a few weeks ago when
someone in the group got sick.

While they chalked it up to the flu, Fain decided
it was time to head home.

“I decided it’d be best if I got back to Chicago
because things started to get panicky in the world and I thought I should
probably be home,” he said.

He flew back on a half-empty flight, Monday, March 16.

Fain said the second he stepped off the plane, it
hit him.

“I had fevers and that was concerning,” he said. “I
did not have respiratory anxiety which I’m grateful for, but the big, huge
effect on me was fatigue.”

The next day, his doctor sent him to Howard Brown
Health to get tested.

Fain obsessed over the results for 10 days which
eventually came back positive.

But he says in hindsight, the paranoia was counterproductive.

“Please everybody stop stressing about whether or
not you get tested, it’s not important,” he said. “The important part is to self-isolate,
stay the bleep home, and monitor your symptoms.”

Fain had a temperature between 100 and 102
degrees for 10 days straight, along with a consistent dry cough.

But now two weeks later, he said he’s feeling
much better.

“Right now I feel optimistic,” he said. “I feel
like I’m on the mend. I know that I have a good 7-10 days of isolation, not
seeing anyone, left in me.”

While the self-isolation hasn’t been easy, it’s
important. He is encouraging others to do the same, and most of all, take this
seriously.

“We haven’t seen the worst of it here yet,” he
said. “We are going up the curve here in Illinois. We’re going to get slammed
and we’re going to get slammed soon.”

Fain gives his friends and family a lot of
credit. He said having a strong support system is key to recovery.