We’ve seen a lot of COVID-19 impacts in the sports media world, and another notable one comes from Victor Howell. Howell is a long-time Louisiana sportscaster whose work includes stints with Cox Sports TV, Baton Rouge CBS affiliate WAFB, the New Orleans Pelicans (radio, 2014-18), and SEC Network and ESPN3 (LSU women’s basketball and Southland Conference basketball, 2014-present). WAFB’s Breanne Bizette posted a story on Howell Thursday night:
Howell was diagnosed with COVID-19 after originally thinking he had a sinus infection. He said he felt as if he couldn’t breathe. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he stayed for a week fighting for his life.
“You’re in a room, you’re labeled, every door has a sign and you’re a stat. You’re statistic and you’re a label. The sign has what level COVID you are, what level your oxygen pressure is and what your numbers are,” says Howell.
While Howell was at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, he received shots three or four times a day, took blood thinners, and had to find a match for plasma transfusion. However, he said nothing was worse than missing his daughters’ birthday.
“Because I was a wreck, I’m a mess. I’m there by myself and I can’t do anything for my kids. I can’t see them; I can’t be with them,” Howell said.
In that piece, Howell goes on to criticize those who are politicizing this pandemic.
“You get to the hospital; you know what they didn’t ask me, when I wheeled in, if I agreed with the governor’s decision, they didn’t ask me if I agree with the mayor’s decision and they didn’t ask me my thoughts on wearing a mask. The first question they asked me after I had to give them my name, my address, personal information, and was if I had a living will.”
Howell is now at home recovering. But his experience is still a frightening one, and one worth keeping in mind.