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The original item was published from 5/9/2020 10:14:21 AM to 6/7/2020 12:00:00 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: May 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Mona Fraitag's experience with COVID19--a story about Anti Mask League from 1919

Mona Fraitag is a member of the Greenburgh Planning Board. If you click on to the full text you'll read about her very scary experiences with COVID-19. Anti Mask League in 1919 caused deaths.

Mona Fraitag is a member of the Greenburgh Planning Board. This is a frightening story of her experiences with COVID-19. If you would like to share with neighbors your experiences dealing with COVID-19 it could encourage others to take the illness more seriously by practicing social distancing or wearing masks.  Email me at with your story. Also, I posted a link to a story in TIME Magazine about the Anti Mask League. In 1919 (like today) many people did not want to be inconvenienced. They hated the masks. They hated social distancing. They declared victory over the pandemic prematurely. And - then they died.

We don’t want that to happen to you.


I am a moderately severe asthmatic senior citizen.  I hit every button when it comes to Covid susceptibility, so when I started to cough and have trouble breathing I knew immediately that the chances were very high that I had contracted Covid.  Although I was very frightened, I realized that in some ways I was very fortunate.  

My primary care physician is a pulmonologist.  I had made that choice because of my asthma.  He’s been my doctor for over thirty years and is very familiar with how I react to different medications, and more importantly, he takes my calls and I trust him.  So, when my breathing starting a rapid decline I called him and gave him my peak flow number ( how much air I could push through my lungs).  The number was 350.  On a normal day I am at 650.  He asked what my other symptoms were.  I told him I was having terrible migraines, coughing, and diarrhea. I asked if I could take immodium.  He said no.  That would keep the virus in my body longer.  I asked if I could take steroids- prednisone for my asthma?  Again, he said no.  I asked what I could take for the headaches.  He told me tylenol.  
We discussed drugs for my nebulizer and he ordered meds from CVS.   We made a plan.  If my peak flow dropped below 200 I would go to the hospital.  Above 200 I could manage at home.  At 200 or below I would need to be intubated.  If I went to the hospital and they intubated me, he was concerned.  The hospitals were crowded.  There were not enough intubators and most people were not doing well on them.  I needed to do everything possible to stay above 200.  Did I understand?  The hospital should be my last resort.  Within days my peak flow dropped to 220.  
The Dr. visited with me virtually almost every day. I moved into the guest room and started using the guest bathroom.  My husband stood outside the room and cried and begged me to get up.  He told me that I couldn’t just sleep all day, but that was all I had the energy to do.  I could barely make it to the bathroom when I had to.  One day, the doctor had us upload an app to my phone that worked as a pulsoximeter- it could measure the oxygen in my blood.  He told us that if the level dropped to 90 my husband should take me to the hospital.  My husband asked if 89 was OK?  He said no.  Again, it dropped to 92 and then it slowly came back.  
Four weeks later, my peak flow is at 380 and I feel really strong!  It is almost as low as it was the day I first called the doctor and said I am really sick, I think I have Covid.  The difference is that today, I am looking at it from the other side of the mountain.  Covid is not the flu.  It is real and it is a beast.  Do not be fooled and do not be lulled into silly and senseless behavior by the lovely spring weather.  Covid has taken too many lives and it is not worthy of one more.  You could catch Covid and carry it without symptoms, then infect someone you love and take their life.  No one could possibly want such a responsibility.  Wear a mask.  Maintain your distance.  Wash your hands.  Stay Safe.

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