If you don’t believe this coronavirus thing is real, listen to what Scott Kingery says and you might change your mind.
“It started on a Thursday (June 11) when I came down with a headache,” the Phillies second baseman told NBC Sports Philadelphia from his home in Phoenix on Tuesday. “I tried to play it off but it didn’t go away.
“Saturday around 10 a.m., I got chills so bad I couldn’t move without my whole body shaking."
“That night, my fever spiked so high that I sweated through my sheets. It left an imprint of my body."
“My fever broke Sunday morning and I actually felt a little better."
“But then three or four days later, I lost my sense of taste and smell for a few days. That was really annoying."
“For a week, I was so tired. Low energy. Fatigue. Then I experienced shortness of breath for a week. I felt like I laid on the couch for three weeks without moving. I was tired just going up the stairs.”
Kingery, 26, wants people to know a few things:
One, he’s healthy now, completely symptom-free.
Two, he wants to be in Philadelphia, preparing for a season with his Phillies teammates, but can’t because his test results were initially wrong and then were delayed by the Fourth of July holiday.
The third thing Kingery wants everyone from his teammates to fans to know is that this virus is real.
“It really does spring on you fast,” he said. “Even if you don’t think you’re in a position to be exposed. It comes on very fast. It can creep up on you and get you pretty bad like it did with me.
“I know five or six people who had it and every single person was affected differently. Some had a sore throat, really bad. I never had a sore throat. Some were asymptomatic the whole way. I was not.”
Kingery returned to the Phoenix area after spring training shut down in March. He began working out with a small group of players, all of whom live in the same area. One guy in the group tested positive.
After learning of his buddy’s positive test, Kingery went to an urgent care facility on a Monday and got tested. He went home (he has two roommates) and quarantined. He waited for the results of his test.
Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday.
For whatever reason, maybe it was that the virus was spiking in Phoenix and facilities were overwhelmed, the results never came.
But Kingery didn’t need them.
He knew he had it.
After sweating out a raging fever on that Saturday night, five days after being tested, Kingery phoned the urgent care facility. They said they had his test results and they were ... negative.
“There was no way that was possible,” he said. “I had every symptom."
Kingery called Phillies athletic trainer Paul Buchheit who rush-shipped a testing kit to Kingery.
This one came back positive for COVID-19.
Kingery quarantined and went through protocols. His testing is now being handled by MLB.
“I’ve passed one test,” he said. “As soon as I get the results of the second one and it’s good, I’ll be on a plane to Philadelphia.”
Kingery has begun to ease back into physical activity. He is doing some hitting. He believes he can be baseball-ready to play in the Phillies’ season opener July 24.
But he’s not sure he will have been cleared by then by MLB and the Phillies. Once he gets to Philadelphia, he will have to go through intake protocols and more testing. He said that because he had a difficult illness, the team would likely want him to go through some extra testing, just to make sure his heart and lungs are good.
Kingery said he’s spoken to only a few of his teammates. He thinks of them. He wants to be with them.
And he wants them all to stay healthy.
“It’s frustrating to see everything going on in Philly and know I should be there if it weren’t for testing delays,” he said. “But every protocol that MLB and the Phillies are taking is necessary.
“There are ways we can take precautions without there being a big outbreak so we can play this season.
“But I want people to know this is not a two-week thing if you get it. You’re not supposed to do any physical activity for 10 to 14 days after a positive test. That could be a month. That’s a huge part of the season so you don’t want to get it. You have to take the precautions and protocols seriously."