Shauna Gray and Benner Hall probably aren’t the picture of what coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) looks like in most people’s minds. They’re young and fit with no underlying health issues. And yet the illness flattened the Brooklyn couple, both aged 41 years at the time, in mid-March. Gray first noticed symptoms on March 18. Three days later, her husband felt sick.
“I know these dates exactly because they will forever be burned into my memory,” Gray said in a recent interview.
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At first Gray assumed that the pair’s young son, who had recently had influenza, had passed it on to them. At the time, patients with COVID-19 had begun to report losing their sense of taste. Gray finally realized she had the disease when the apple juice she was craving “just tasted like ‘wet’ and water tasted like metal.” The couple couldn’t get polymerase chain reaction testing at the height of New York City’s outbreak, but Gray said both have since tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies.
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