Anthony Padilla’s latest I Spent A Day With… video kicks off a new six-part series about surviving COVID-19.
The YouTuber (who has 4.23 million subscribers and nets around 12.5 million views per month) began making videos in this format in 2018, when he sat down with flat earth conspiracists to understand just why they believe what they do. Since that video, Padilla has uploaded more than 60 I Spent A Day With… installments starring interesting–and often marginalized or misunderstood–interviewees, including cam girls and sex therapists, people with dissociative identity disorder and autism, and folks from across the LGBTQ spectrum.
In his newest video, Padilla talks to three featurees: Carl Goldman, who was stranded for weeks aboard the now infamous Diamond Princess cruise; fellow YouTuber Katy Hodges (137K subscribers, 450K v.p.m.); and Naome, one of Padilla’s subscribers.
All three are among the more than 1.8 million people worldwide who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Calling in via webcam, they describe their symptoms and their experiences being tested, treated, and quarantined.
Goldman spent weeks aboard the cruise ship that was stranded outside Yokohama, Japan, in February after a passenger tested positive. He and hundreds of other passengers and crew members were barred from leaving and became infected; many of them, including Goldman, were eventually moved to quarantine at U.S. military bases and biocontainment facilities.
“I ended up staying isolated for ten days. This room was unbelievable,” Goldman says. “It had double-paned windows with chicken wire over it. No one entered it without a full hazmat suit. They looked like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.”
Hodges caught COVID-19 from her boyfriend, who was Las Vegas’ first confirmed case. This was back in early March, before the U.S. really began responding to COVID-19 as a public health crisis, and neither of them realized what he had, she tells Padilla. “When he was confirmed, it was only a matter of time before I got it, because I had been caring for him–and I wasn’t taking any precautions, because I just thought he had the flu,” she explains. She soon began experiencing fever, extreme fatigue, and trouble breathing.
Naome shares a similar story of belatedly realizing what she had come down with was more than a flu. “Huge headache, I had pressure behind my eyes, but I was like, ‘You know what, I’ve had this before,’ so I didn’t take it too seriously,” she says. “And progressively through the day, I noticed my headache got worse, the pressure behind my eyes…was really intense.”
Goldman, Hodges, and Naome all say they consider themselves lucky to have made it through their bouts with the virus, which has killed more than 113,000 people so far.
“Please, for the safety of yourself and everyone around you, practice social distancing,” Padilla urges viewers. He also asks them to donate to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and says he’s donating the ad revenue he earns from this series to the fund.
The series’ next video will profile immunocompromised people who have had to make significant life changes to protect themselves, as they are especially at risk of suffering serious complications if they contract COVID-19.
You can read more about the WHO’s fund here.
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