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Dave & Dujanovic: Utah coronavirus survivor talks about his ordeal

(Jerri Jorgensen, left, with husband, Mark, in China. Photo Credit: Mark Jorgensen, Facebook)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah coronavirus survivor is sharing his experience, now that he’s been cleared by health department officials.

After an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Japan, Utahns Mark Jorgensen and his wife, Jerri, were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Mark was quarantined at Travis Air Force Base in California while Jerri was hospitalized in Japan.

Life as a coronavirus survivor

Mark Jorgensen was later admitted to Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) in Murray after being transferred from  California.

Jorgensen has never had any symptoms. He has since returned to his home in St. George to self-quarantine and joined Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to update them on his and Jerri’s conditions.

“Have you kicked Covid-19 one-hundred percent, Mark?” Debbie asked.

“According to the health department. I have a letter from them two weeks ago saying that I have been completely cleared and no longer contagious or pose a danger to the public. So that’s good news,” Jorgensen said.

The “coronavirus diet”

“Mark, did you do anything differently as far as your diet? Did you eat more greens and take more vitamins?” Dave asked.

“I probably took less vitamins because I ran out. The ship passed out just a multivitamin,” Mark said. “I ate whatever they fed me,” he said about his stay in the hospital.

“I honestly did not eat that well because I had a lot of friends bring me stuff at IHC. At [Travis Air Force Base in California] that is really good. Way too much. I’ve actually put on weight through all this thing,” Jorgensen said.

“Speaking of your wife, Jerri, how is she feeling? Is she have any lingering side effects or symptoms?” Debbie asked.

“Once she tested negative there [in Japan], they released her, and she was able to fly home and she’s been fine. She feels great,” he said.

Looking back and looking ahead

“What was the hardest part about the quarantine?” Dave asked. “What was the thing that drove you crazy?”

Aboard ship, the coronavirus survivor said, “We were able to connect with our friends over in the next cabin. We had our our balcony doors open to each other. And in retrospect, that may not have been the smartest thing to do. But the four of us were able to interact and play games and watch movies,” Jorgensen said.

“We tried to keep your mind focused on the moment we were in versus worrying about how long we might be stuck like this,” he said.

To try to make good on what was a horrible experience, the cruise line has offered a free cruise to the Jorgensens.

“I’m wondering if you’ve changed your mind or if you’re still gonna take him up on their offer?” Debbie asked.

“When it’s safe and when it’s available, you bet we’ll go,” Jorgensen said.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line 18004567707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play