28-year-old Doctor David Burkard is a resident doctor at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and recently shared his experience of going from a frontline healthcare worker to battling COVID-19 himself, and eventually needing to be admitted to the hospital.

He’s active and healthy, and never thought he’d be isolated in a hospital room battling the coronavirus. He says, in a video interview, when he first got sick, he was unable to even walk around his one-bedroom apartment and was eventually admitted to the hospital where soon after admission, he was actually put on oxygen to help him breathe.

As he posted on his Facebook page,

I run or workout 5x/week and have no significant chronic medical conditions. I was diagnosed with COVID-19 8 days ago. Today, I was admitted to the hospital because when I walk 10 steps, my oxygen saturations dip into the mid 80s.

He’s sharing his story, not for pity as he posts, but to make sure that people realize this is more serious than some people are taking it.  As we are under new COVID restrictions with the 'Pause To Save Lives' order, there's’ been a back and forth as to whether it’s necessary, and Dr. Burkard definitely sees the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and staying home more as we go through this next wave of the pandemic.

From his post,

Think about the families who want to be with their loved ones while they’re sick but can’t. Think about how silly it sounds to complain about a mask when there are people literally gasping for air. It is up to all of us to stop the spread of COVID. It does not just affect the old and frail; it affects all of us and we are all at risk for getting sick. Please wear your mask. Do your part to help us stop the spread

Asked in a video posted on Spectrum’s Facebook page, what message he’d have to others that didn’t think COVID-19 is serious or is just like the flu, he said, to think about the health care workers and the families experiencing this virus, it’s heartbreaking watching people say goodbye to their loved ones; or not being able to be there with them as they take their last breath.  A lot of these cases have grim outcomes. It’s something we see every time we go to work.

He’s sharing his experience, hoping everyone will take it seriously, so that together we can all help slow the surge here in West Michigan.

Read his full post and see his interview with Spectrum Health’s Leon Hendrix below.