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Letter to the President: My experience with COVID-19

Kelly Keeney
Published 5:00 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2020 | Updated 6:36 a.m. ET Oct. 14, 2020


President Donald Trump, Melania Trump and Chris Christie are among a running list of people who tested positive for COVID-19.


Dear Mr. President,

Good Afternoon, I wanted to wish you, your family and staff well as you travel through your individual Covid 19 recoveries. Each person’s body and the medical care they have access to will determine how they experience this disease. Please be gentle with yourselves. Even the basic steroids can give you energy, stimulate hunger cause excessive sweating and “speediness” and make you feel better because the symptoms are gone. They can also cause the virus to replicate more rapidly.

I do not agree with some or even most of your political choices or policies, but my prayers for you all are that you all have as little suffering and as quick a recovery as possible. 

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I wanted to share with you my personal coronavirus story which has now entered its seventh month under medical care. I experienced what would be considered a “mild” stay at home case in March. (My cousin was in ICU at that time for 19 days and is now fully recovered).

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I personally began my symptoms on March 20 and was diagnosed on March 26. The worst part of my illness happened in the second and third week of my illness. I continued to work as I was able to throughout this time. It took me thirty days to recover from my symptoms and be considered “virus free.” There were days throughout this time of feeling almost normal and a week in early May when I felt good, I then had a big relapse that still continues. I was able to continue to work from home on a limited schedule while battling fatigue headaches and many other issues related to post COVID.  

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli breaks down the COVID-19 numbers across the state, pointing out the much higher infection rate in Lakewood. (Photo: PAPP)

I am now a part of the “Long Haul Covid” patients/victims’ group.  I am now finally receiving neurological care to determine the reason for my facial drooping, short term memory loss, balance issues, vision blurring, concentration issues as well as arrhythmia and tachycardia. There are other issues however I will limit the lost to the most concerning. I have never had heart, cholesterol, diabetes or any neurological issues prior to having this virus.

I understand that you above all others need to work, but you do not need to act like a hero to be an effective President of the United States. Please rest and stay well, this is a disease that keeps on giving. The more you do, the longer your recovery will likely take.

I am taken aback by your stating that people “should not be afraid of coronavirus and don’t let it dominate your life.”  Had you said this while telling them to take precautions (mask and social distancing), it would have been a responsible statement. Instead, what you said feels like an attack on those of us who were sick and remain debilitated by this virus.

I am not scared; I am not letting it run my life. I am not shutting myself off from the world since I have “recovered.” I also did not, nor would I be able now, to have the type of medical care you are getting. I have decent insurance, but like most people wait weeks for appointments with neurologists and more weeks for testing and follow ups.  

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I began disability from work as a result of COVID-9 on Sept. 9. My boss (of 27 years) and I both realized my work productivity and accuracy was greatly hampered by the neurological symptoms and could no longer be accepted. I also have had to temporarily close my small business. I am living on savings and hoping the NJ State disability will hurry and review of my paperwork so that I can continue to pay my bills. The disease has severely limited my ability to engage with friends to care for my home, animals and to work. That does not make me afraid or shutting off my life, it makes me informed, cautious and grateful for my doctors.

I will pray for you all and for you personally to adopt a more conservative viewpoint on masks and social distancing — even if you only do it for reelection tactics.

Thank you and God Bless America.

Kelly Keeney is a resident of Beachwood, NJ

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