Reporter's Notebook: When the coronavirus hits close to home

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 5:10 PM EDT
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As Governor Scott noted during his press conference Wednesday, there is a very good chance that all of us will eventually know someone who tests positive for the coronavirus. And that includes us here at WCAX. Adam Sullivan spoke with the former employee and friend who now lives in New York and tested positive.

Tim Lizzo and I have been friends for 20 years. We both went to St. Mikes and both started working at WCAX around the same time. After I found out he recently tested positive for COVID-19, I gave him a call and he agreed to share his story.

Reporter Adam Sullivan: How are you feeling today?

Tim Lizzo: I'm feeling fine. For the most part, the only symptoms I have had all along is tightness in my chest, almost like bruised ribs, or as if you did a chest workout or something -- sore muscles, just tightness in the chest really -- that's it. Never had a fever, never had a cough.

Lizzo only got tested for the coronavirus after his mom's test came back positive. He's now living with his folks under quarantine in the New Rochelle, New York, home where he grew up.

"Following the rules and, you know, trying to stay inside until we can get retested. I don't know when that window is. Whether it's 14 days or maybe a little sooner hopefully. But as of now, we are just doing what we are supposed to and not going near anybody and hoping that nothing gets worse," Lizzo said.

He worked in the production department at WCAX for six years and is now a director for CBS in New York City. He was working the night the midtown broadcast center was evacuated a couple of weeks ago after employees there tested positive. But he's still not sure how he got the virus. His 70-year-old dad also tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms.

"To me, that is the scariest part of this whole thing, because had my mom not felt a little sick -- she was nauseous and tired -- had she not gone to get tested, he would ever know and he might still be going to CVS, or the grocery store or getting takeout," Lizzo said.

Adding to the stress, Lizzo is isolated from his wife who is six weeks pregnant with their first child. Thankfully, she tested negative. "She is home alone at our apartment right now, pregnant, and not feeling great and tired, but it could all be that," he said.

Lizzo and I catch up in person from time to time, but video chatting while he's in quarantine is surreal.

"Yeah, I miss everybody. I hope everybody stays safe. The big thing for me is to just not take it lightly, respect that quarantine and the isolation thing and the distance, because people are carrying it and don't know they are carrying it. If everybody doesn't hunker down, this thing is going to spread for months," Lizzo said.

Lizzo says his mom is on the mend and he's looking forward to his next visit to Vermont.

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