CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Cameron Karosis is a healthy 27-year-old. The Cambridge man eats nutritional foods and exercises daily. He started working from home for his company Hubspot in early March when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and only went out to the grocery store twice, wearing protective equipment each time. Still, in late March, he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
It started with a kink in his neck on March 19 that quickly became a full body ache, Karosis, originally from South Berwick, Maine, told WBZ. Then, a migraine followed. “I was trying to get sleep, but the migraine was making it hard to do that,” he said. “And any time I did get sleep, my fever would make me sweat and I would wake up drenched.”
He called three times to try to get a COVID-19 test, but didn’t have symptoms severe enough to qualify. Then, respiratory issues hit.
“If you are inhaling, all of a sudden you will hit this breaking point and you start coughing and it hurts like kind of in the lower part of your lungs,” he explained about the sensation. “And then when you are not trying to breathe either deeply or shallowly, you just feel like there’s someone sitting on your chest.”
Karosis then qualified for a test, and four days later received his result that he tested positive for COVID-19. He said the disease came in waves. “It tricks you,” Karosis said. “You have a week where you are doing poorly. You start to get better. Your fever dials back, and then it comes back with a vengeance, and that’s what happened to me.”
When the virus “came back with a vengeance,” his respiratory difficulty became more severe and he rushed himself to Mass General Hospital, where he was treated for several hours. “When it really hit me I think was when I was in the hospital,” he explained. “I started to get pretty emotional just thinking to myself like what if I end up being intubated or something like that? Is that going to change my life?”
Fortunately, for Cameron, he was told he wouldn’t need to be put on a ventilator. When doctors asked if he felt more comfortable staying at MGH, he opted to go home to his Cambridge apartment, wanting to save the bed for someone who needed it more. “Huge shout out to the folks over there [at MGH],” he said. “They are really deserving of all the praise they are getting.”
Karosis didn’t feel fully healthy again until around April 9. He started working from home again on April 13, but still plans to stay home as much as possible since he knows he’s not necessarily immune to the virus.
Karosis wants people to know: this virus does not discriminate. “I only went to the grocery store twice. When I went, I wore gloves. I disposed of them immediately. I didn’t wear the same pair all day. And still got it,” he explained. “You can be healthy. You can do everything right. You can wear gloves. You can wear a mask. You can do everything right, and that doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything.”