FRANKLIN, Tenn. (CBS Local) — A man who identifies himself as Tennessee’s COVID-19 “patient zero” is sharing his story on social media.
“For those of you who don’t know, I was patient zero in Tennessee,” Chris Baumgartner wrote Sunday in a post on Facebook.
The 44-year-old father who lives in Williamson County, said physically, his case was on the “mild end of the spectrum,” but mentally, “our experience has been all over the board.”
“Imagine having to confront a virus, so feared, it now has the entire world on the brink of mass hysteria, while at the same time, being forced to deal with irrational panic, people demanding to know if you are the ‘one,'” Baumgartner wrote.
Baumgartner said the experience gave him “a whole new appreciation for those who live under the cloud of Stigma every single day of their lives. If this is you, Please know, you are not alone. We are here for you!”
He said at the same time, “we’ve also experienced human kindness at it’s very best. We’ve watched an entire community rally behind us in our time of need.”
Baumgartner said his family never felt alone.
“We’ve had literally hundreds and hundreds of calls, messages, and texts encouraging us, praying for us, and people pausing from their own challenges in life, to walk through this crazy situation with us,” he wrote.
He added “something incredible happens when fear and anxiety are replaced with acts of kindness and compassion, God can be experienced in a whole new way for everyone involved.”
“Every single act of kindness, every single message, every single call we’ve received, have all ended with the same 5 words: We are praying for you! All.Of.Them!” Baumgartner explained.