Thursday, August 06, 2020

Natalya and Artur Shnayder of Highland Park, New Jersey thought nothing of it when their married son came home with his wife and their newborn daughter on March 23, to quarantine with them. The WiFi in their son’s apartment in New York wasn’t great and his son needed internet connection for work. Natalya and Artur were happy to have them.

They were also not alarmed when their son shared that he had been experiencing strange symptoms—he’d lost his sense of taste and smell. Back then, the fact that this was linked to COVID-19 was not yet well known. Their son’s wife and daughter were fine, so grandma and grandpa weren’t concerned.

Within a week, however, the Shnayders came down with the classic symptoms of the coronavirus––fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath. Thankfully, Natalya’s case was not severe. Artur, though, had a harder time.

Artur’s high fever lasted two weeks and his cough lasted three weeks. The test he took in mid-April confirmed he had COVID-19. A few days into the illness, he woke up early one morning and passed out from low oxygen, which resulted in some very nasty bruises, some bleeding to his head and a subsequent trip to the hospital. Thankfully, the X-rays showed there were no serious injuries.


Artur recovered completely by April 20, but for weeks afterward he found himself winded if he tried to exert himself. Still, the 57-year-old computing engineer, who worked for an advertising technology firm, was happy to be feeling much more like himself again.

Artur remains very philosophical about the experience battling the virus.

“Everyone is trying to protect themselves from this, no one is trying to get it,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s in God’s hands. And we are very fortunate to have recovered without much trouble.”

By Harry Glazer