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Healthwatch 16: Coronavirus, first-hand

Since COVID-19 was first identified, people who have caught the virus report varying symptoms, from not knowing they have it at all to getting very ill very quickly.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Newswatch 16 wants to bring some firsthand coronavirus stories to life, starting with an ICU nurse who works an overnight shift at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

"In the springtime, I was actually still in school. I graduated in May and started my job in July. For me, it wasn't initially on my radar, I guess," Eric Gurzynski said.

Gurzynski, from Shickshinny, is 24 years old. COVID-19 was simply something he had a hand in treating in other patients until a month ago, in early November.

"I was just, like, eating dinner one day, and I realized, 'Hey, I can't smell this,'" he recalled. "I started spraying my hand with air freshener and stuff, and I was like, 'OK, I really actually can't smell.'"

Following protocol, he checked in with his supervisor, who advised getting a COVID-19 test. It was positive, and he says he spent the next two weeks in isolation.

Gurzynski never got very sick; his symptoms were mild.

"I did have a little cough, a bit of a headache. I felt like I had a minor sinus infection."

He's thankful nobody else in his family was affected. He lives with his parents and sister and had recently seen his grandmother. He knows they were lucky because he knows there's no predicting this virus.

"There's always some uncertainty," Gurzynski added. "It affects every single person differently. I've seen young people with it in the ICU."