A 23-Year-Old With COVID-19 Is Documenting His Experience As A Warning To Other Young People

When quarantines were beginning, the common understanding was that younger people were not as vulnerable to the coronavirus and that it was largely the immunocompromised and elderly populace who has to worry. Since then, it’s been revealed that many young people have been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. Many have died, and many of those that have recovered have been left with serious complications.

Karim Salmen is a 23-year-old who has been posting popular TikToks about his experience being hospitalized with the virus.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Karim Salmen (@karimesalmen) on

Salmen told BuzzFeed News that he was been taking quarantine very seriously since the beginning, because he has been hospitalized for other conditions that affect his breathing in the past, a pulmonary condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, which makes the small airways in his lungs inflame. He also has a condition called pectus excavatum, meaning his breastbone is sunken.

“I believe someone close to me exposed me to the virus, but I am not sure,” he said. “I haven’t left my house. I have been under quarantine for four months.”

@karimsalmenPraying that I get over this soon ##ColorCustomizer ##FashionFavorites ##TheOldGuard ##hospital ##wearamask♬ original sound – undercookedfishstick

Salmen lives in Miami, and he says he first knew something was wrong when he started throwing up. He vomited throughout the night and says he immediately started having the sensation he couldn’t breathe.

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He started documenting his experience once he landed in the hospital.

@karimsalmenSTAY POSITIVE!! Positivity always wins ##TwoOptions ##SummerProject ##covid ##hospital ##covid-19♬ CUPPA OLD BANGERS – joeviespoli

“Some of the symptoms I have been experiencing are shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, loss of appetite, and vomiting on the first day,” he said. “Thankfully, I am not on a ventilator. However, I am receiving an oxygen supply.”

At first, he was just on oxygen:

@karimsalmenDay 6 been hitting hard! ##BearWeek ##Phrog ##covid ##hospital♬ Do It – Chloe x Halle

But then he was put on a stronger air distributor:

@karimsalmenI cannot stress this enough, this virus is no joke. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS ##NicerToMe ##HiddenGems ##covid ##wearamask♬ Rags2Riches (feat. ATR Son Son) – Rod Wave

His TikToks try to warn people to take the virus seriously and wear masks no matter what.

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“I decided to document this journey to spread awareness, as well as for everyone to see that this virus is not a joke. The only way to fight it is if we follow guidelines. … It really only takes one infected person to spread it to a lot of other people,” he said.

He isn’t sure how he himself got it, but because of his isolation, he assumes it was from someone who is close to him and maybe unaware they have the virus.

@karimsalmenPEOPLE PLEASEE DON’T TAKE THIS VIRUS AS A JOKE IT ISN’T! ##NicerToMe ##HiddenGems ##covid ##wearamask♬ original sound – favsoundds

Luckily, Salem says his doctors think he will make a full recovery. But it has still been a difficult and isolating time.

@karimsalmenCorona isn’t a joke guys, PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS ##OneLoveOneHeart ##TextReaction ##covid ##wearamask♬ Renee – Sales

Because of the virus, he hasn’t been visited by friends and family.

@karimsalmenLETS HAVE A GOOD MENTAL GUYS AND STAY SAFE ##TodayYearsOld ##IceCreamDay ##covid ##wearamask ##garyvee♬ 原聲 – wtb73d05h6

@karimsalmenDay 11 making progress!! ##PokemonGO ##SportsAreBack ##covid ##wearamask♬ Make It Right – BTS

He’s looking forward to seeing them again. Keep following him @karimsalem to see when they’re reunited

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