Breaking Story: Michigan, Younger COVID Patients Hit Hard, Getting Sicker, Dying of New Variant


CNN: Michigan is in another coronavirus surge and hospitals are again on the front line, but this time they have a new type of patient: younger and healthier.

Fred Romankewiz was on his way to get vaccinated, but he didn’t feel well so he canceled the appointment and got a Covid-19 test instead. Though he’d been inches from the coronavirus finish line, the 54-year-old construction materials salesman from Lansing now tested positive.

“What really is frustrating to me is it’s been a year and what — three months now, and I played it right to the tee. I mean, I did everything correct,” said Romankewiz. “And then to have this happen.”

Watching TV, responding to a steady stream of text messages and cracking jokes from his hospital bed in Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital, Romankewiz said he feels upbeat about his prospects for a full recovery but that the virus laid him low.

“I felt like I went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson,” he said. “I was absolutely physically exhausted. I mean, I felt like I had been beat up, I felt like I had been in a car accident. I mean, it was crazy.”

Romankewiz, who lives a healthy life and has no underlying conditions, said he contracted the virus from his 19-year-old-son, Andy. His wife, Betsy, who is fully vaccinated, also got the virus but suffered minor symptoms.

Jim Dover, CEO and president of Sparrow Health System, a large health care provider in central Michigan, said two things are driving the current surge: pandemic fatigue and mutations in the coronavirus that have made it more contagious and possibly more deadly.

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