ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Burke is now symptom-free, but she had severe symptoms for several days. And she just found out this Wednesday that a test for the virus she took last week came back positive. Burke spoke to ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod Friday about her fight with the disease, about how her symptoms differed from many of the widely-discussed ones, and about how she’s doing now. Here’s the podcast in its entirety:
Here’s a transcription of some key quotes from Burke, starting near the beginning of the podcast:
“My first symptom, looking back on it now, Adrian, was March 11, which the day I was broadcasting Denver at Dallas, which is obviously the moment when Rudy Gobert tested positive, which set off the ensuing series of events. What’s interesting for me and what I hope people would know is that, like most Americans, I had been tuning in and reading and trying to understand what symptoms were, etc, etc, but basically on March 11, I remember sitting at lunch with my broadcast crew for that evening. It’s very standard for us to have a lunch production meeting. And I looked at my colleagues, Ryan Ruocco and our producer Ian Grulka, and just said, ‘Man, I am so tired, and my head is pounding.’ And looking back, those were my symptoms.”
“And we’ve heard so much, Adrian, about shortness of breath, fever, tightness in your chest, chills, body aches, etc. But for me…my primary symptom throughout this was this extraordinary fatigue. I took an aspirin that day, I felt better, I went about the normal business of trying to prep for the game. Thursday morning, en route to the airport, I had another headache.”
“And by the time Saturday the 14th hit, Adrian, I was so tired. I tried to get out of bed from Saturday the 14th through Tuesday the 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day. I kid you not, I could not get out of bed for five minutes without needing to go back to bed and lay down. And it was that Tuesday, Saint Patrick’s Day, I was thinking, ‘Boy, I don’t have any of the normal symptoms,’ but I thought to myself, ‘It seems to me I should probably get tested.’ And my daughter is an attorney, her fiance is an attorney, and they had come to me on that day, and my daughter’s fiancé’s mom was a nurse for many years and a nurse-educator, and she was quite concerned, obviously, that perhaps I had it through all the travel. And I made a decision that Tuesday night to go down to a local city hospital in Philadelphia and get tested, and that’s what I did.”
Burke went on to say she chose to get tested because of the discussion at that time that symptomatic people should seek out tests, and because of her worries about exposing her daughter and her daughter’s fiancé to the virus.
“At the time, they were saying, ‘If you are symptomatic, maybe you should get tested.’ …I believed, even though my symptoms did not line up with the typical symptoms, I believed, given the nature of my profession and the number of people I encounter, that I did in fact have exposure to the virus. …I wanted the answer to ‘Have I perhaps exposed those two individuals?'”
Burke also told Wojnarowski that her case shows that not every case of this virus will play out the same.
“I did have a mild fever, but I believe the highest my fever ever went was 99.6 [degrees]. So this idea that 100.4 is the threshold, what they’re learning, and they’re learning about this every day, medical professionals are saying ‘We’re learning about the virus,’ there are any number of symptoms that could come, and it seems to be working in different bodies through different means.”
She went on to say she’s feeling better now, and to thank all the health care providers who helped take care of her.
“So I’m incredibly thankful to the professionals at this hospital, and for the care I got. And the tests are supposed to take three to five days, and in fact it took eight days, and I just got confirmed on Wednesday night of this week, even though I have had no symptoms, I’ve been symptom-free, I’ve started to feel like myself and disinfect my house and launder everything. I’m so incredibly thankful to be feeling well.”
The full Woj Pod with Burke can be found here.