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‘I Want This Out of My House': Hear From NJ Dad in COVID-19 Home Quarantine

A Pitman, Gloucester County, man says he's waving to his family from behind french doors as he quarantines

Courtesy of Eddie Quinn

Eddie Quinn only leaves the closed-off living room to use the bathroom.

"I put on a mask, I don't touch anything but the light switch and the toilet seat," he said.

Those are then wiped down with disinfectant and he'll quickly get back to the living room, bookended with French doors, where he's spent the past 10 days isolated from his family as he fights the coronavirus.

Some of you know already, but many of you haven’t heard yet. On Friday I was notified by my doctor that I tested...

Posted by Eddie Quinn on Sunday, April 19, 2020

Such is the life at home in Pitman, Gloucester County, as he tries to keep his family safe from the virus, which has more than 95,000 confirmed cases in New Jersey so far. And CDC research has shown the most common mode of transmission is in households, so Quinn has good reason to be concerned.

When he has to venture out of that room: "I don’t have any conversations, I don’t linger," he told NBC10.

It's the safe thing to do to minimize contact and not take any risks. "I want this out of my house," he said.

Courtesy of Eddie Quinn
Eddie Quinn of Pitman showed his home quarantine setup in what he calls "The Isolation Room." It's a living room decked out with an air mattress and lots of supplies.

It has been tough in isolation, but he's not totally alone. His family can wave to him or talk through the closed doors. They leave meals and supplies for him, and he's pretty stocked up now, especially on drinks like water, Gatorade and Pedialyte.

He first came down with serious aches on Easter night. While just sitting at home watching TV, "I was wracked with pain like I was just hit by a truck," Quinn said.

His daughters were checking on him and he said "I think the 'rona got me."

"They said, 'Yeah right, do you have a fever?"

Quinn wanted to stress that his case did not start with a fever at first, but frustratingly, it was often the first thing he was asked - even after he was certain he had the virus.

A doctor led with the question about a fever in a virtual appointment he had. The work nurse checked his temperature when he felt horrible and it was 97.7, actually below the average human body temperature and not a fever.

On their advice, though, he eventually went for a test at Inspira Health Williamstown.

He drove up and a health care worker clad in personal protective equipment administered the nasal swab.

"They stick this swab all the way to the back of your head, then they twist it, then they pull it out."

"My eyes were watering, but I thought, 'Man, at least that's over.' And then she said, 'Yeah, now the other nostril.' I was like, whaaaat?" Quinn groaned, recalling the test.

The test later came back positive and was followed up with a call from the county health department to do contact tracing and see if there are other cases to worry about.

Since he began feeling ill he has stayed in the living room away from relatives. His family has not showed any concerning symptoms.

The fevers that were absent at first hit after the isolation began.

He was prescribed an inhaler and some pills including a "Z-pack," which refers to Zithromax, the brand name of azithromycin. That drug, an antibiotoic, has been used with some COVID-19 patients. Others have received hydroxychloroquine, a drug normally used to treat malaria.

Quinn asked about that drug too but was told "the only way you get drugs like hydroxychloroquine is if you end up in the hospital."

Thankfully, he has stayed out of the hospital through this.

He knows he's on the tail end of the illness but wants to make absolutely sure the virus is gone before he resumes a normal home life. He asked about being re-tested to see if it would be negative, but was told that wasn't going to happen.

The main advice he got? It all depends on how he feels. The key right now is to go three days without a fever. So for now, Quinn has laid off the Tylenol, a fever reducer, on the advice of the county health department. He was told the feverless streak can't be assisted by any meds.

On Wednesday, day 2 of that streak, Quinn hadn't broken a fever and was feeling "pretty decent," and better than Tuesday, he said.

As one of the few cases in Pitman, the small South Jersey town, Quinn took to Facebook recently to tell of his hectic past few weeks. The post was widely shared in the area.

"I know many of you want this lockdown to end, and I get it, but at what cost?" he wrote. Later he added, "I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I would rather be bored than sick, or worse."

Thursday night, if all goes well, he'll emerge from the living room and get reacquainted with the rest of his home, and his family.

NBC10 is collecting the stories of COVID-19 survivors. If you have a survival story you want told, reach out to Digital Content Producer Joe Brandt at Joe.Brandt@nbcuni.com.

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