‘It’s serious,’ commissioner says after COVID infection

Posted 12/3/20

Following a bout with COVID-19 that included a trip to the ER, Park County Commission Chairman Joe Tilden says he wishes he’d taken more steps to avoid the disease — like wearing a mask …

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‘It’s serious,’ commissioner says after COVID infection

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Following a bout with COVID-19 that included a trip to the ER, Park County Commission Chairman Joe Tilden says he wishes he’d taken more steps to avoid the disease — like wearing a mask more often and keeping more distance from others.

“People that don’t take this thing seriously are nuts,” Tilden said after leading Tuesday’s commission meeting. “I mean, it’s serious.”

Tilden, who fell ill with the virus last month, said he thinks his case of COVID-19 was relatively mild.

“The only thing that was concerning to me [was] it started to get into my lungs,” he said. “I had a lot of congestion.”

That prompted Tilden to seek medical attention at the West Park Hospital Emergency Room on Nov. 13, he said, and the steroids he received proved an effective treatment for his breathing problems. Still, “I just felt like crap for two weeks,” Tilden said. “I had no energy, couldn’t do anything.”

He said the experience was worse than the flu.

“I’ve had the flu before and No. 1, the flu didn’t last two weeks like this thing did,” he said. “With a flu, I could still function pretty well. It [COVID] just, I mean, put my lights out.”

Tilden said he was back to about 95% on Tuesday, feeling fine, but still tiring easily.

Tilden began feeling sick on Nov. 11, which was the day after a commission meeting. People infected with COVID-19 are believed to be contagious in the 48 hours before they show symptoms, so Park County Public Health officials encouraged the rest of the commission and Clerk Colleen Renner to self-quarantine for 14 days; ultimately, no one else became sick.

After holding its Nov. 17 meeting virtually, commissioners resumed meeting in person on Tuesday, but they relocated to more spacious quarters. Masks were required and worn by those who attended the government meeting.

“Theoretically, we’re exempt from all of those [public health] orders,” Commissioner Dossie Overfield explained to an attendee, “but why would you want to be?”

Commissioner Lee Livingston, who was out of town on Tuesday, participated remotely.

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