Tennessee coronavirus patient says he feels guilt over possibly infecting others

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A Tennessee man who tested positive for coronavirus said he’s had it for about a week but didn’t know it, so he’s been going about his days as usual.

Robbie Schaefer found out he was positive Wednesday, becoming one of more than 100 people in Shelby County to test positive for the virus.

He was at work Tuesday, so all of his co-workers who came into contact with him will now need to be tested.

He says he's wracked with guilt about who else he might have unknowingly exposed to the virus.

"What I thought was just allergies turned out to be coronavirus, and I've been walking around with it for a week just because I didn’t know to be on the lookout for those symptoms," Schaefer said.

He said he began showing mild symptoms last week. He is now quarantined at home with his dog.

"Right now, I just kind of feel like I’ve been hit by a bus," Schaefer said. "I haven’t been able to smell in like a week."

He decided to get tested after a friend tested positive for the virus.

"They stick a long q-tip up your nose, and it feels like it’s touching your brain," he said.

Schaefer said he has been shut in his home ever since he got his results, and his husband has to keep his distance.

"We’re not supposed to be in the same room, so he’ll be on the couch or I’ll be on the couch, and we’ll kind of go in a big circle around the house if we need to move," Schaefer said.

He said they are awaiting his husband’s test results, but right now, neither of them is leaving the house.

His company, which he asked not to be named, has been allowing him to work remotely, but even his job can only do so much to distract him from the near-constant pain.

"It’s kind of harder to sit up and be able to focus because your body just hurts, and you’re tired," he said.

Schaefer compares having coronavirus to a bad case of the flu, but he realizes he has a very mild case of it.

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