Firefighter details long-haul COVID-19 recovery

Firemen information long-haul COVID-19 healing: This infection ‘practically took my life’

A very first responder shares the COVID-19 journey that kept him off the cutting edge for a year.



I’m not the very same individual that I was, you understand, previous to getting covid, that’s for sure, guy. You understand, in a number of months it’ll be practically a year that I have actually been gone away from the line. Luis Perea is a firemen with the city of Davis. It was type of right at the start of the pandemic, and we were beginning to see cases in Sacramento and the surrounding locations. However this is the very first time that we had actually become aware of our very first responders boiling down with the infection. We still have to go to the structure, fires and traffic accidents and all the other things are happening. Those expectations of us haven’t changed. And then even when a patient needs like CPR or something like that, then it’s all hands on. The thing about Lewis was he was the fire captain. And so what was interesting about it was the Fire Department already had covid protocols in place. And so what that meant was there was a lead who would go into calls and kind of make that very first contact so not everyone would possibly be exposed. And he was that guy. I was the one going in. I had actually the raincoat. I had the mask. I had the gloves. Three Davis firefighters ended up getting covid, and because of that he started isolating from his family. And that’s when I started to feel unwell. So he had chills. He had body aches. He did get a fever. And then five days later, he tested positive for the coronavirus. His heart started to be really fast, and when he finally was checked out at a clinic, they said, You need to get to the ER now and you know he said, He’s a firefighter so he’s active and he works out all of the time. He was really surprised that it took him down as quickly and as badly as it did. I was definitely shocked that I it really got me. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes there’s a firefighter. We think, Hey, nothing, nothing could happen to us But it did. He talked about how they wheeled him into the hospital and how there was a ventilator already. They’re already in his room. He didn’t need it, but I think the sight of that really, really worry him. The doctor even told him that he was on the edge of a cliff. I felt like I couldn’t breed. It was it was just like I had no control of my body. I felt my body was weak. I had, like, no strength. I felt like I’d be honest with you. I feel like I was going to die. I felt for the very first time that man, this is it. I’m going to be part of a statistic of someone that didn’t make it. I never got to say about it in my life. I got on my phone and I was kind of like hurt because I missed. I had missed Easter with my family, so that was a big deal for me. At that moment. I was like, Oh, man, this is This is tough. So I started pulling pictures and I saw a picture from last year when I was, like, dressed as Batman and kind of like, motivated me to like, um, I got to fight this. Luis was in the hospital for a little while and he eventually got out and quarantined. But the effects of Covid did not go away instantly. For six months, he had trouble breathing he had rapid heartbeat, and then it actually escalated to where he ended up meeting Bernie surgery because he was coughing so much. And so as a fire captain, you really wanted to get back on the front lines, but he couldn’t. It hurts me a lot knowing that, you know, during this fire season, and I can’t be out there with my brothers and sisters, you know, helping out. Louise kept testing positive for the coronavirus for seven months and they would say, Oh, no, no, no, no. I don’t actually have it anymore. He’s part of a study to find out why that’s the case. Why he kept testing positive all of these months later, in January, I spoke with Luis and he had just gotten his vaccine kind of emotional for me because I survived this cove in where it could have been a different situation. It could have been I could have been dead. And to know that I have a vaccine that protects not only the community, but also my you know, my guys and my girls at the firehouse. And having experienced that, that’s what he wanted to keep sharing his story to let people know whatever precautions you can take if you can get the vaccine when you’re eligible to take that seriously, this infection is no joke. This one really, really knocked me out. This one almost took my life. This one actually almost took me away from my wife and kids, and I actually so for the first time in my life, like, Wow, I could die from this. And I spoke with Luis in January. He was really looking forward to possibly going back to work. And you could really tell just talking to him how how things have altered. I can’t wait. I missed my crew. I got I mean, working for City of Davis’s is an amazing place. I love going on cause that’s why I signed up for this. The doctor says You go back to work and that’s gonna be the probably one of the best days of my life. It sounds like things are going well. Usually every time I talked to Luis, we can get on Zoom or Skype immediately because he’s been on light duty. But he says he’s swamped because he’s back

Firefighter details long-haul COVID-19 recovery: This virus ‘almost took my life’

A first responder shares the COVID-19 journey that kept him off the front lines for a year.

Fire captain Luis Parrilla wasn’t just on the front lines at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was at the front of the front line.As part of the fire department’s coronavirus procedures in Davis, California, there was a designated lead going into calls to ensure that the team’s overall exposure to the virus was limited.”I was the one going in. I had the raincoat. I had the mask. I had the gloves,” Parrilla explains.In spite of the safety precautions he took, he wound up contracting COVID-19. When his heart began to beat rapidly, he was hospitalized.”I couldn’t breathe. I had no control of my body. My body was weak,” he noted. “I had no strength. I’ll be honest with you. I felt like I was going to die. I felt for the first time that, ‘Man, this is it. I’m going to be part of a statistic of someone that didn’t make it.'”Although he was eventually released from the hospital, Parrilla’s symptoms kept him on light duty for months. He also continued to test favorable for the coronavirus for seven months.Parrilla described getting vaccinated as “emotional,” adding, “It could have been a different situation. I could have been dead. To know I have a vaccine that protects not only the community but also my guys and my gals at the firehouse…”We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading across the nation and world, and the stories about how people are coping, battling, and persevering through the pandemic have become more important than ever.In each episode, “Field Notes” brings you a handful of stories about how coronavirus has impacted real people across the United States, and you can hear more about what it’s like to cover the pandemic from the local news teams that are committed to keeping you informed, no matter what.

Fire captain Luis Parrilla wasn’t just on the front lines at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was at the front of the front line.

As part of the fire department’s coronavirus protocols in Davis, California, there was a designated lead going into calls to ensure that the team’s overall exposure to the virus was limited.

“I was the one going in. I had the raincoat. I had the mask. I had the gloves,” Parrilla explains.

In spite of the safety precautions he took, he ended up contracting COVID-19. When his heart began to beat rapidly, he was hospitalized.

“I couldn’t breathe. I had no control of my body. My body was weak,” he noted. “I had no strength. I’ll be honest with you. I felt like I was going to die. I felt for the first time that, ‘Man, this is it. I’m going to be part of a statistic of someone that didn’t make it.'”

Although he was eventually released from the medical facility, Parrilla’s symptoms kept him on light duty for months. He also continued to test favorable for the coronavirus for 7 months.

Parrilla described getting vaccinated as “emotional,” adding, “It could have been a different situation. I could have been dead. To know I have a vaccine that protects not only the community but also my guys and my gals at the firehouse…”


We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading across the nation and world, and the stories about how individuals are coping, battling, and persevering through the pandemic have actually become more important than ever.

In each episode, “Field Notes” brings you a handful of stories about how coronavirus has impacted real people throughout the United States, and you can hear more about what it’s like to cover the pandemic from the regional news groups that are devoted to keeping you notified, no matter what.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.