As the numbers for confirmed cases (and, unfortunately, deaths) of COVID-19 continue to grow in the United States, people who have endured the difficulties of contracting the novel coronavirus and been hospitalized because of it are sharing their experiences in order to inform friends and the public.

Count NFL Network producer Jason Hartelius among those who is recounting his ordeal with friends and followers via social media. Hartelius, who has been with NFL Network for the past seven years, posted a video on Facebook explaining that he was hospitalized for three days after experiencing a high fever, followed by coughing and difficulty breathing shortly thereafter.

Though he was discharged and went home on Thursday, Hartelius also wanted to make clear that his test results for COVID-19 had still not come in as of his video’s recording, a week later. (He was tested last Friday.) So despite being hospitalized for novel coronavirus (and pneumonia resulting from it), he’s not counted among the confirmed case figures that have been released to the public.

“So whatever numbers you’re seeing,” Hartelius said, “are nowhere close to accurate.”

Update: Hartelius received news that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 Friday:

As of Thursday night, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. was reported at 82,135. One week ago, that number was 13, 229.

And as many have pointed out throughout news and social media, these are only the confirmed cases. Like Hartelius, many have been tested without yet learning the results. And even more people who either have symptoms or are asymptomatic haven’t been tested.

“Pay attention to those numbers and know that they’re worse than you’re seeing,” Hartelius said, acknowledging that it will be weeks, if not months, before he fully recovers.

“Please wash your hands, social distancing, stay home if you don’t have to go anywhere. It makes a difference. Not only keeps you healthy, but it’ll keep people working in [hospitals] healthy, and they are swamped right now.”

As you can see if you click through to Hartelius’ tweet, he’s made plenty of friends in football and sports media throughout his time in the industry. Many responded to his message on Twitter, including Mike Freeman, Dianna Russini, Bryan Baldinger, and Shaun O’Hara.

Maybe Hartelius intended his video to be more for friends and colleagues than to go widely public. But his message is definitely one that needs sharing, if for no other reason than to convey the seriousness of COVID-19 and the terrible experience of contracting the virus and recovering from it.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and Asheville's Mountain XPress. He's written for Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.