Karim Salmen, a 23-year-old TikToker, is giving a firsthand look at what his COVID-19 experience has been like the past eight days, warning in his latest post that "this virus is not a joke." Salmen, who was hospitalized on July 9 and then tested positive for coronavirus a few days later, has been documenting the "life of a COVID-19 patient" since his first day in the hospital to spread awareness of how severe the virus can be.
"The hardest part has definitely been seeing my family's support but them feeling like they can't do anything about it."
The TikTok user, whose posts have since gone viral on the platform, is urging people to wear masks and take the virus seriously. Salmen was born with a lung condition that put him at a higher risk for serious illness, and had thus been quarantining for the past four months to be cautious. However, he still tested positive for the virus. He started experiencing symptoms like a loss of appetite, dizziness, a lack of air, and frequenting the bathroom more, according to his TikTok on day 6. "The hardest part has definitly [sic] been seeing my family's support but them feeling like they can't do anything about it and tearing up when talking to me, because they don't know what can happen," his caption read in a TikTok documenting day 7.
Since he was first hospitalized, Salmen has been moved to the ER and was recently put on his third IV line on day 8. But luckily, his doctors are giving him a lot of hope, Salmen told BuzzFeed. "My doctors feel confident that I will make a full recovery," he said. Check out his full journey in a series of TikToks below, and allow his experience to remind you that people of all ages must follow guidelines and protect themselves as best as they can.