'I'm thankful to feel back to normal': Mundelein mayor says he's COVID symptom-free
Some two weeks after becoming the first Northwest suburban mayor to reveal a COVID-19 diagnosis, Mundelein's Steve Lentz on Wednesday said he's been symptom-free for eight days.
"I'm thankful to feel back to normal," Lentz said in an email.
On March 23, Lentz publicly announced both he and his wife, Michelle, had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
He had gone to a COVID-19 testing center March 20 after experiencing a scratchy throat and learned he had the virus the next day.
"It started out as a scratchy then a tenacious sore throat which lingered for 10 days," Lentz said.
The Lentzes promptly isolated themselves in their home. Lentz said he became very fatigued as the disease dragged on.
"The worst of it was one night when I went to bed and slept for the better part of 16 hours," Lentz said. "Other days it was a constant drifting from nap to nap. Not fun."
Lentz fought his sore throat by taking over-the-counter medication, gargling with salt water, using zinc lozenges and drinking a homemade tea of lemon, honey and ginger.
"My doctor recommended vitamin supplements as well," he said.
Unlike other COVID-19 patients, Lentz never experienced breathing difficulties, a fever or a loss of smell.
"I'm very fortunate in that regard," he said.
Michelle Lentz became fatigued early on. She also had a headache and a dry cough -- but, like her husband, never a fever.
Lentz said being quarantined with his wife wasn't difficult.
"We are empty-nesters anyway, so the only adjustment is seeing each other all day, every day," he said. "We are both working from home and have each claimed a different area of the house."
Once Lentz's symptoms disappeared, he returned to his at-home job -- trading in the futures markets and running an options trading advisory. He said he never stopped conducting village-related work during his recovery.
"All the face-to-face meetings have been canceled, but we've been able to accomplish what's necessary with emails and teleconferences," he said.
The couple started cautiously venturing outdoors this week, too, now that they've been asymptomatic for so long.
Lentz urged people to continue social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.
"When first infected, I had no symptoms for days and absolutely no idea I could be contagious," he said. "Without physical distancing, I really could have infected a lot of people. Please take this seriously and stay home."
Lentz also suggested people quit smoking or vaping to keep their lungs healthy and hopefully avoid the respiratory complications associated with the disease.
"Quitting now gives your lungs a better chance," he said.