SALINAS – A younger man who’s recovering from COVID-19 has a message for other younger folks: the pandemic is critical, and carrying a masks and practising social distancing are easy issues everybody can do to hinder the unfold of the coronavirus.

“I used to be form of believing that it was solely older individuals who received sick,” mentioned Dakota Sandoval of the time earlier than he received the sickness.

Sandoval, 24, of Salinas, talked about his COVID-19 expertise in a convention name lately the place he detailed the onset of signs, his three-week bout, and ongoing restoration from the coronavirus. His function is to elevate consciousness of the virus. “Individuals assume as a result of they’re younger, they received’t get sick,” he mentioned.

Sandoval is urging everybody to put on a masks and follow social distancing.

“I’m younger and I received it,” he mentioned. “My grandfather and nephew had to transfer out of the home so I wouldn’t put them in danger.”

The Salinas man was residing and dealing in Park Metropolis, Utah as a public transit operator driving a bus through the ski season. He had taken a contract job, transferring to Utah in November.

He mentioned as extra was being realized in regards to the virus, the bus firm taped off the doorway closest to the driving force in order that passengers may solely use the other entryway mid-bus preserving folks about 10 toes away from the driving force.

Sandoval, who’s asthmatic, mentioned that the day after his contract resulted in late March, he realized he was sick however thought it was a nasty chilly. Two days later he left Utah to drive again house to Salinas the place he lives with household.

He drove with a fever and was coughing and discovering it laborious to breathe.

“I used to be so sick driving house from Utah, I practically handed out,” mentioned Sandoval.

He stopped alongside the best way to get to an emergency room in Tehachapi the place he was handled for his signs whereas his mom drove from Salinas. She adopted him again to their house to be sure that he made it safely.

Not getting higher, Sandoval sought remedy at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. This was within the early days of the pandemic when sufferers had to meet sure standards earlier than receiving a take a look at that was in brief provide.

Dakota Sandoval labored as a public transit operator in Park Metropolis, Utah, through the ski season from November 2019 till his contract resulted in March. He got here again to his house in Salinas having contracted COVID-19 and spent 5 days within the COVID-19 Unit of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. (Dakota Sandoval) 

He first went to the triage tent. His fever was coming and going, and although medical doctors suspected COVID-19, he was instructed to go house, self-isolate and monitor his signs – normal process on the time. He received worse and mentioned he practically handed out one night time getting up to go to the lavatory as a result of it was so laborious to breathe.

Sandoval mentioned his greatest concern through the top of his sickness was that he had not contaminated anybody else. His mom stayed house to care for him whereas the remainder of the household, together with a 2-year-old nephew and 85-year-old grandfather, moved elsewhere. He described having coughing suits that made his diaphragm harm, in addition to other aches, and pains and his thoughts being put in a “bizarre headspace.” Sandoval mentioned the sickness is “horrible” and is grateful nobody else in his household got here down with the virus.

By the point he finally met all the necessities for testing, he had developed pneumonia.

Sandoval examined optimistic for COVID-19 and was processed via the hospital’s Various Care Website – an isolation tent arrange exterior the emergency room – the place he may safely be admitted to the hospital with out exposing others. He spent 5 days at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System within the COVID-19 Unit in early April.

24-year-old Dakota Sandoval lies in his hospital mattress contained in the COVID-19 Unit of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System throughout his five-day keep there in early April as he fought the coronavirus. (Salinas Valley Healthcare System) 

Sandoval mentioned that in his keep within the hospital the nurses there gave him wonderful care, supplied the whole lot he wanted, together with assist, in full private protecting gear, in getting him to the lavatory when he was too weak to do it himself. He mentioned he by no means was made to really feel as if he was a burden and is grateful to all of the medical doctors and nurses working through the pandemic. Sandoval was placed on oxygen however was spared being placed on a ventilator.

What he would love to say to other younger folks is that even when they aren’t afraid of getting COVID-19, they need to be afraid for other folks as a result of it may be handed on even when you don’t present signs of getting it.

As COVID-19 numbers proceed to climb within the state and county, Pete Delgado, president and CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System factors to the straightforward actions each individual can take to shield themselves and others through the pandemic.

“I’m involved many individuals usually are not following the rules to cease this virus from spreading,” mentioned Delgado in a launch. “We’d like to be vigilant in practising social distancing, overlaying our faces and washing our arms. This isn’t a time to grow to be complacent.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a compulsory statewide masking order this week. The order comes because the state has recorded greater than 195,000 confirmed instances and has greater than 5,700 COVID-19 deaths. Monterey County has 1,426 instances and 12 deaths.

“I can not stress this sufficient,” says Delgado. “Do let not let your guard down. We are able to beat this. Be sensible. Be secure. Be nicely.”

Sandoval mentioned that after he left the hospital, he was feeling higher however nonetheless was not nicely. Even right this moment he has bouts of coughing and at instances finds it laborious to breathe which he hyperlinks to his bronchial asthma and COVID-19.

He finally acquired clearance to exit two weeks after his final fever. He wears a masks and social distances when he leaves the home and is urging everybody to do the identical.

In accordance to Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, it has had 470 optimistic sufferers and 81 of these have had to be hospitalized within the hospital’s particular COVID Unit. Greater than 90 nurses on the hospital are rotating shifts and dealing within the unit to take care of COVID-19 sufferers. As of Thursday morning, it has eight sufferers being cared for on the unit. The Healthcare System activated its Hospital Incident Command System in early February as the specter of COVID-19 emerged.