36-year-old fitness instructor with coronavirus urges people to heed safety measures

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Until recently 36-year-old Natalie Kikkenborg was a vibrant fitness instructor and mother in good health. But on the morning of March 11, 2020 she woke up feeling slightly tired.

Figuring it was just her busy schedule she didn’t think much of it until her morning fitness class was almost done.

“In the last five minutes of the class, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got pains in my hip joints and knees. My quads got that sense of malaise, body ache feeling and I knew something was up. I went home and took my temperature and had a slightly elevated temp and within three hours that temperature went up to 102 degrees and stayed there for five days,” said Kikkenborg.

Kikkenborg was able to use over the counter medications and her appetite remained, although without a complete sense of taste or smell. She also drank a lot of beverages with electrolytes.

She says it was the most ill she has ever felt.

“I got completely knocked down. I couldn’t get out of bed, the temperature and fatigue was like nothing I had ever felt before and I hope to never feel that sick again, but I basically just laid in bed and did nothing but sweat for five days, it was horrible,” says Kikkenborg.

When she was feeling better Kikkenborg attempted to get tested for coronavirus. Since it was early in the testing response efforts she had to do research.

Finally, her neighbor told her about a doctor who was doing drive-through testing in a Fairfield County parking lot. She signed up online and drove through, getting tested. The results came back positive.

Kikkenborg remains in quarantine and must have two negative coronavirus tests before she is cleared to leave her home. In the meantime, friends are bringing her groceries.

She wants people to know how important staying home is right now.

“If you think social distancing doesn’t apply to you or that it’s OK because the kids are home to get the neighborhood kids together for a play date, or just go hang out at a friend’s house, it is not. It is not OK. This is our social responsibility right now to maintain social distancing, stay home, stay in now for the short term so we don’t have to stay in for the long term. It’s the only way we are going to take care of this problem,” says Kikkenborg.

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