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West Allis man chronicles journey with coronavirus diagnosis

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 18:29:58-04

WEST ALLIS — A 44-year-old West Allis man is documenting his experiences every day after testing positive for coronavirus.

"I'm going to let other people see what it's like, so maybe at least with my bad circumstances, I can use to help someone else," Neil Panosian said.

Panosian is posting daily blog articles and YouTube videos about his journey with the virus.

"The headaches are getting less frequent and less severe, so that's good. Shortness of breath still there," he said in a youtube video.

The goal is to alert people about symptoms like the Jack Sparrow-esque dizziness he has been feeling (minus the rum) or the unexpected loss of the ability to smell.

There is more to his daily blogs and vlogs, though. Part of it is to alleviate people's fears about the virus.

"A lot of people are just hearing what they hear on the news, and it's kind of frightening. And I'm like as long as I have to be stuck with this, I want to use it for something good," he said.

Which is why he explains the daily activities he does, which millions of other self-quarantined Americans are already doing.

"(My girlfriend and I have) been playing board games, watching movies, putting puzzles together, just cooking together."

He jokes that he has the best quarantine partner.

"If you have to be quarantined, get yourself quarantined with someone who is both beautiful and a great cook," he said.

The two vigorously wipe down any surface and watch movies six feet apart from each other. What he means by this is that his daily life hasn't completely changed other than the fact he signed a document with the city of West Allis that orders him to stay in his house for the next 14 days.

As to how this feels compared to the flu, Panosian said the coronavirus feels more like a respiratory issue than the regular flu.

Doctors haven't given him much to work with in terms of medicine he can take. He said doctors suggested that if something works for the flu, then he should try it. After all, it's still a very new virus, and medical professionals haven't been able to find a specific cure/remedy.

A week ago, before he knew he had the coronavirus, he felt the symptoms commonly associated with it. However, getting tested wasn't easy.

"It's been frustrating even to get to see the doctor. (It) took three days and three phone calls."

After tests for the flu and pneumonia came back negative, doctors gave him a COVID-19 test.

"And they have you tilt your head back, and they put this long cotton swab in the back of your nose, and I really thought it was going to come out the back of my neck."

The next day, on Thursday, March 19, he learned he had the coronavirus.

"As soon as he told me I have the coronavirus, actually my first words were okay cool because, at that point, I had been sick for almost a week, and it's as frustrating not knowing what to do."

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