FORT MYERS — A Fort Myers blogger, with hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook, has come down with COVID-19.
Mary Katherine Backstrom just got out of the hospital, and now, she has a message for the community: Stay home.
Backstrom had enough energy to speak with us on Monday, but she spent Sunday in the emergency room at Healthpark Medical center.
“I’m a 36-year-old mother who is very healthy, and I have a heart rate of somebody who has run a marathon when I’m lying down," said Backstrom.
Two weeks ago, Backstrom was running three to four times a week. She was managing a successful blog that last year got her on the Ellen Degeneres show. Then, in a matter of days, she was in a hospital bed with a bad diagnosis.
“On my imaging of my lungs, it looks like there’s spider webs basically spreading out over the lungs," said Backstrom. “My doctor thinks that I’ll probably be able to run in six months to a year like normal, but that’s not a guarantee.”
But on Monday, as Backstrom was recovering at home, thousands more people were heading back to work. Ten days ago, malls opened back up. Seven days ago, it was barbershops and salons. Monday, gyms could operate at 50% capacity. Backstrom said, it’s a mistake.
“I just think there’s devastating consequences for some of the choices that we’re making right now, and it’s very concerning," said Backstrom.
Backstrom is now using her platform on Facebook to encourage people to continue wearing masks and washing their hands.
“Just try and be a community player, because the virus is still here, it’s still active, and it’s not going away right now," said Backstrom.
Backstrom’s husband also tested positive, and their two kids are presumed to have the virus as well. She said her main goal is to make sure, as things do start to return to normal, that people don’t get complacent about stopping the spread.