Was Covid-19 in Southeast Michigan earlier than March?

Maybe even as early as September or October. My mother-in-law was hospitalized for an unfamiliar strain of pneumonia last October.

Could she have had coronavirus?

My mother-in-law was struggling to breathe. She even fell from dizziness as a result of it. Her lungs kept filling up with fluid. It got so bad that they were fixing to implant a device in her lung that would work with a special pillow to warn if she wasn’t breathing properly.

My mother-in-law went in for the procedure but was diagnosed with pneumonia and told that they would need to postpone. She ended up hospitalized for a few days, but, by Halloween, she was back home.

Struggling to breathe

When we saw her after trick-or-treating that night, she could barely catch her breath as she struggled to talk. By the next day, she was back in the hospital again.


They hooked her up to a ventilator and started running tests. My father-in-law tells me that she had something unidentifiable. An infection they couldn’t name.


That machine has been breathing for her ever since. They’ve been moving her from health center to health center, no one really sure what to do with her. At times she was so far away that visiting with her was not an option.

A long road

She’s been clear of infection for a short time now. She’s still hooked to the ventilator, unable to breathe on her own. The muscles are no longer strong enough to perform their job.

They’ve closed the doors to visitors at the health care facility where she’s learning to breathe on her own again. My father-in-law calls daily for updates, but the staff is overwhelmed, and it’s not always easy to get ahold of anyone.

Waiting for news

We hope that she’s still doing her exercises. We hope that the staff is working with her to get her off of that machine and home to her family. Sometimes, father-in-law says, the phone just rings and rings.

Odin doesn’t believe in social distancing, preferring instead to sit on brother, Loki

Were there other cases?

I can’t help but wonder, as I think of how sick she was when we stopped there after trick-or-treating had ended, were there more sick Michiganders as early as September or October? Was hers one of the first cases in Michigan?

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