Detroit lawyer diagnosed with COVID-19 shares his experience & symptoms

Posted at 2:56 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 19:23:44-04

(WXYZ) — A lawyer from Detroit who was diagnosed with COVID-19 is sharing an important message about the coronavirus. He and his wife both have it, and they're urging our community to stay calm, but also stay home to prevent the spread.

Juan Gonzalez said we all need to listen to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and stay home. While he and his wife are on the mend, he said we all need to do our part to keep others healthy.

"It was about Monday afternoon, I was just kind of feeling really tired, headache, little bit of the chills," he said.

Last Monday, he left work as soon as he started feeling ill.

"My wife took my temperature and it was about 100.7," he said. "Then I drove up to Beaumont and waited in line for about seven hours. I was finally tested at like 9 p.m."

On Wednesday morning, he said the health department contacted him and told him he had COVID-19.

For the family, the symptoms have been relatively mild, and for that, they're very grateful.

"The biggest thing I noticed was just like extreme fatigue. Like the onset of the flu, the chills, you definitely notice that something’s wrong," he said. "I really didn’t have a cough. But the fatigue is the main thing that I noticed big time."

One of the new things doctors are saying to watch for is the loss of your sense of smell or taste. He said his sense of smell was not quite right.

"Kind of in shock to be honest with you, but it was just good to know there was a result and some peace of mind," he said.

He said he did notice his sense of smell was just not quite right, so pay attention and seek help if that happens to you or someone you love.
He said the health department asked him to re-trace his steps. They notified everyone he had been in contact with, including other members of the legal community in various metro Detroit courtrooms.

"Some people were very thankful that I called them and let them know. Some were scared. I think it's a new thing for everybody, so I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases to give people at least peace of mind," he said.

He said he has no idea where he was exposed to the virus. He hasn't traveled anywhere.

His wife is also presumed positive for COVID-19, and they've had to isolate themselves while a caregiver helps with their 14-month-old son.

"We've isolated upstairs and she's really been a Godsend helping out with all of this," he said.

He said if everyone can stay home and stop spreading the virus, we will beat this.

"My message is just stay calm, stay safe. If you can, stay inside, this is a serious thing. We've all got to come together and just look out for each other and be safe," he said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.