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Utah coronavirus patient's message to the public: Don't panic.

Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 23:40:18-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Utah man who has had COVID-19 for weeks hopes he can lessen fears among Utahns.

Friday marks the 36th day Mark Jorgensen has been under mandatory quarantine. He knows first hand what it’s like to live with the disease and says there is no reason to panic.

Mark Jorgensen’s souvenir from a Diamond Princess Cruise in Japan was COVID-19.

“They tested everyone and I came back positive,” Mark said.

Nearly six weeks since his first positive test, Mark still waits to hear if he’s disease free from his home in St. George.

“I’m fine. The same I’ve been ever since this started. I feel completely normal,” Jorgensen said.

That’s not uncommon for the disease, according to the World Health Organization. For most of us, the symptoms, that include fever, tiredness, dry cough are mild.

About 80 percent recover without needing special treatment.

Those who do are typically older with underlying medical problems.

“It’s not something you want to take lightly but it’s something that you’re going to survive,“ Jorgensen said.

It has been a difficult road for Mark: first quarantined on the ship, then at an Air Force base, a hospital and then at home.

What’s helped this COVID-19 patient during this process? Being realistic and staying positive.

"Panicking and worrying and stressing and freaking out is not going to change what is. If you get it, you’ll survive it. If you practice decent hygiene it will improve your odds not to get it. Even if you do get it, you’ll be fine,” Mark said.