Ex-state Rep. Nick Zerwas describes terrifying experience with COVID-19

Zerwas spent time in an ICU ward receiving supplemental oxygen.
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Former Minnesota State Representative Nick Zerwas is recovering at his home in Elk River after a spell in the hospital with COVID-19. 

Zerwas, who resigned in 2019 from his position as a Republican serving District 30A after undergoing heart surgery, posted a thread on Twitter explaining how shocking and frightening his experience with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus has been. 

"It’s time I let everyone know about what happened this week," Zerwas began. "Sunday my cough that I believed was connected to a cold our 4 year old Jackson had the previous week (he had a neg Cov test) began to rapidly get worse.

"Sunday night I went to bed early coughed and struggled to breathe for most of the night. By morning even getting out of bed, going through the shower, and coming downstairs was absolutely exhausting."

Zerwas said he was having "breathing challenges" and a pulse oximeter registered his oxygen levels in the low to mid 80s when it is normally around 97%. 

After a trip to urgent care for a COVID-19 test he was advised to go to Maple Grove Hospital's ER, where he was admitted into the IC and given supplemental oxygen. 

"For the next 5 days I received the same treatment President Trump had received at Walter Reid. Convalescent Plasma infusion, Remdesavir IV, and Decadron (Steroids)," he explained (though Trump also received the antibody cocktail known as "Regeneron.")

"I was released today (Friday), and I while [sic] I’m still sick I can’t explain how much better I felt and how quickly I began to feel better following the beginning of those treatments."

Since tweeting his story, Zerwas has been subject to criticism about a tweet he posted in early September about COVID-19 models that he accused of being difficult to believe because they were so far off in the early stages of the pandemic. 

Zerwas tweeted skepticism about Minnesota's first predictive model on May 20, which turned out to greatly overestimate the early peak of the virus in the state. 

But while the early peak didn't get close to the worst-case scenarios projected by Minnesota's model, many of the predictions from infectious disease specialists that America would see a huge spike of COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter are now bearing out.

Minnesota is currently seeing exponential growth in cases, which in the coming weeks will likely have an even more severe impact on the state's healthcare system.

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Zerwas closed his Twitter thread by thanking healthcare workers and describing the virus as "serious" and "scary."

"I honestly believe I made it through Covid because of the amazing care I received at all levels from North Memorial.

"Now, I won’t get preachy.... and I get that my Pre-Existing condition made be especially susceptible to Covid, but this virus is serious and it’s scary. At one point Mon when I was in the ICU alone and my O2 levels were not coming back up I thought I might be placed on a vent.

"At that point I was terrified I wouldn’t ever get off that and I wouldn’t hug my wife or son ever again. This s*** is real and scared the absolute Hell out of me. I’m home now, both Bette and I are still sick, but we are gonna make it. Be smart, be safe. God Bless.

"I wanted to do my part to let ppl know just scary this can get and how quickly it can head downhill."

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