Yesterday, Marlin and Julie Eby were interviewed at their church about their experiences with COVID-19. Both became positive in early March, and Marlin was the first COVID-19 patient at West Shore Medical Center in Harrisburg, where he quickly progressed and went to ICU, before suddenly, and really miraculously, recovering. Julie was never hospitalized, but took 3 months to recover. Both are now SARS-CoV-2 negative, but are still dealing with after affects of their infection now.
Marlin has been a very instrumental mentor in my life -- he pulled me aside during my undergraduate and encouraged me to pursue graduate school and the field of statistics that has led to a career I love. I had never considered graduate school before his encouragement, as in my family very few had ever completed an undergraduate degree and the first one on either side of my family completed their bachelor's degree while I was in high school. I can safely say I never would have found the field of statistics, and likely would have never considered graduate school without his support and encouragement. He has dedicated his professional life investing in undergraduate mathematics majors and inspiring many dozens to pursue a career in statistics or biostatistics. He is one of the most giving men I know, and true hero of mine, and his lovely wife Julie is also a blessing to so many -- and they have an amazing love story of how God brought them together late in life.
Their experience in going through this has made this crisis personal and real to me, and has served as an inspiration to want to learn more about it and help us all understand what we should be doing about it.
This is a great story to listen to -- of encouragement from people who have recovered, of warning about how serious this virus can be, and an uplifting story of a couple's faith and love for each other, and of the faith and support of their loving community through this crisis.