State Representative Scott VanSingel recently went through a bout with COVID-19.
He kindly accepted our request to share his story
N3-You were one of 2 legislators to make the news as being diagnosed with COVID-19. Tell us about your experience.
SVS-My experience was waking up with a rapid heart rate and fever. I knew something was wrong since I very rarely get sick. I scheduled a covid test as quickly as I could and it was no surprise that it came back positive. I was able to determine that I contracted the virus at church on a Sunday and first notice symptoms the following Thursday morning. I never got extremely sick, it was just recurring hot flashes, nausea, fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches and eventually respiratory issues. These came and went multiple times per day. It took a full two weeks before the symptoms finally went away. I consider myself to be in very good shape and couldn't believe it took me 2 weeks to beat this.
N3-Did anyone around you need to quarantine?
SVS-Thankfully because I immediately suspected this was Covid, I did not come into close contact with anyone after showing symptoms and require anyone else to quarantine. I spent the two weeks at home, watching my leaves fall and not having the energy to clean them up.
N3-Have any of your views about the virus changed since going through it?
SVS-My views of the virus have changed, especially after watching others in the community who contracted the virus have much worse symptoms than myself. I learned that this is extremely contagious, more so than the common cold or flu. It is also much, much more potent than the flu. It is something to be taken seriously and we are not immune here in rural Michigan. I've been in discussions with local health officials and we are nearing the capacity of our healthcare system. If we don't slow the spread of this virus, we will see the death rate from this skyrocket as people will go without treatment.
N3-A recent town hall by CEOs of major healthcare organizations in the state expressed concern over the spike in cases and hospitalizations and spoke to a need for the legislature and governor to come up with a coordinated plan to help mitigate the spread. Can you respond?
The House of Representatives did present a plan in recent weeks which had very specific data driven decision points and relied heavily on the assistance of local health departments rather than a one size fits all statewide approach. It's unfortunate that this has not been entertained by the executive branch and we continue to have a statewide approach for dealing with this crisis with no input from local elected officials.
N3-We continue to have people in our community resistant to heeding the recommended actions necessary to control the spread. How much importance do you place on adherence to the guidelines?
SVS-I admit I was reluctant at first to wear a mask in public, especially when the virus was not in this area. My mind has changed. While masks are not 100% effective, they are the best defense against spreading the virus. It is important that when out in public and especially when in close contact with people outside your household that you wear a mask. We must slow down the spread of the virus and it must be soon. This is the single most effective way to slow the spread other than a full quarantine which none of us want to see.
N3-Anything you care to add?
Finally, I encourage people to follow truthful sources of information. As much as people may not trust government, the actions being taken to control the spread and the data being shared comes from experts, people who have advanced degrees and have made a career out of studying public health. Even if they don't have good news, the information they provide is much more reliable than the fake news articles being shared on social media. I encourage people to seek truthful information rather than information that simply confirms our biases.
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