Moorhead residents share COVID-19 struggles with Gov. Walz

Gov. Walz
Gov. Walz(KVLY)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz visited Moorhead Wednesday morning at the Hjemkomst Center to talk about how to control those numbers, as well as to hear from two Clay County residents who say they are forever impacted by the virus.

Gov. Walz emphasized those impacted by the virus are more than just statistics and says this virus can’t be generalized.

“The perception that the chance of getting this is slim and if you get it, it’s not that bad and that only people negatively impacted are older people, none of those things are true!” Walz said.

In an effort to personalize the virus, both Kenton Chromey and Randi Trowbridge shared their recent struggles with COVID-19 and how it’s taken a toll on their families.

Chromey, a Fargo Fire Inspector said getting COVID was ‘ten times worse’ than any influenza he’s ever had.

“I was 15 days of a 101, 102 fever. Constant. Nothing would take it down, but it never rose any further. All of the other symptoms came around, fatigue, I hurt every day,” he said.

Chromey says when a cousin lost his house in a fire, the family put together a small, outdoor fundraiser in mid-September.

“Little over 30 people there. All family. We had tables set up six to eight feet apart. Three days later a handful of us started to have symptoms. My in-laws and one of my nieces ended up in the hospital," Chromey said. "The first night my father-in-law was in the hospital he actually died. They brought him back.”

Chromey says thankfully all three have now been released, but says he and most of his family are far from being recovered.

“I’m still having residual effects in my right long from this,” Chromey said.

“What happens, if I can give a theoretical, if it doesn’t come back?” Gov. Walz asked.

“Potentially, I won’t be fit for duty and I could eventually lose my job,” Chromey replied.

Gov. Walz says while outdoor events reduce the risk of COVID-19, they don’t eliminate it, and says Chromey’s story should be a warning to all as we head into the holiday season.

“It’s painful, but the minute we break where this is at, the virus doesn’t care that we’re tired. The virus does not care that we have COVID fatigue. The virus does not care that it seems like maybe we’ll get away with it for a few minutes and it’ll be ok. That’s what’s starting to happen and then this scenario happens or worse,” Walz said.

Trowbridge told the governor, both she and her young daughter came down with symptoms first. She says her husband is now on day six at Essentia Hospital due to complications from the virus, and has at least five days left.

“She hasn’t seen her dad since he first was symptomatic, it’s been a week and a half. I haven’t been in the same room as my husband since Friday,” she said.

“We’re worried about long-term implications. What happens if someone gets pneumonia 10 years from now and, because of what happened with them with COVID, that pneumonia is significantly more dangerous? Those are things we don’t know. So the goal here is to not become infected until we have therapeutics and a vaccine,” Walz said.

Gov. Walz says mitigating the virus relies solely on those ages 18 to 35, and encourages them to start making better decisions for the health and safety of all Minnesotans.

Walz also says Minnesotans can expect advanced testing efforts in the near future, as he says more tests and faster results are one of the key points in slowing the spread of the virus.

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