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williams covid

COVID-19 infected reporter Jennifer Williams/Twitter

For Alaska journalist Jennifer Williams, the news is that she’s become the news. Again.

This time the news director for Kenia’s KSRM has revealed she’s one of the five people with COVID-19 in a community of approximately 8,000 people approximately 55 miles south of Anchorage on the shores of Cook Inlet.

She is well enough that she is being treated at home.

Eleven months ago, Williams made the news as the journalist bruised and scraped – unintentionally she believes – by a bottle apparently aimed at pro-abortion activist Williams was interviewing.

Williams is the only journalist known to have been assaulted on the job in 2019 in Alaska, where journalists are often criticized, as they seem to be everywhere these days, but more likely to be attacked by bears than people.

Williams’ assailant has not been caught, and this time she knows not from where her latest medical problem came.

In some version of a journo’s world from hell, she seems to have become a twisted version of Li’l Abner’s Joe Btfsplk with the bad news always falling on her instead of those she meets.

Sick and sicker

Prior to the test showing her positive for COVID-19, Williams messaged that she was being treated for pneumonia. Whether that pneumonia was COVID-19 related or whether she was suffering from pneumonia that made her more susceptible to the newly discovered coronavirus is unclear.

In Italy, where the COVID-19 death toll is high, researchers are investigating whether people reporting to hospitals with pneumonia caught the COVID-19 there, or whether Italian pneumonia cases reported in October and December of last year might have been among the globe’s first cases of the new disease.

The big blowup in COVID-19 came in Wuhan, China in December, but Italian epidemiologist and University of Milan medical statistics professor Adriano Decarli, told Reuters there was a “significant” increase in COVID-like hospitalizations for pneumonia and flu in the areas of Milan and Lodi in October and December.

Those two cities were among the hardest hit in Italy, and Decarli said people started dying in their hospitals before the new coronavirus was officially identified.

“We want to know if the virus was already here in Italy at the end of 2019, and – if yes – why it remained undetected for a relatively long period so that we could have a clearer picture in case we have to face a second wave of the epidemic,” he said.

Williams reported she is at this time doing OK with the disease. She described her symptoms as “just similar to pneumonia, exhausted and fever with loss of weight and no appetite. Breathing is difficult.”

Many people with COVID-19 report no symptoms, and nearly all of those who do suffer symptoms recover. World Health Organization data indicates there is a better than 99 percent chance of recovery for people lacking pre-existing conditions, primarily heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure, and active cancer.

“I am immuno-compromised due to my previous health issues,” Williams said. “(But) I’m a fighter! Don’t you worry.”

She was well enough to drive herself to a local Walgreen’s drug story to fill a prescription after her week-old diagnosis, which she first revealed on Twitter Sunday.

“I tested positive for #Covid_19 last week and have been quarantined at home,” she wrote there. “Weighed whether or not to announce it publicly, but honesty and transparency is how we will #FlattenTheCurve! Symptoms are similar to what I was battling with pneumonia. Hope it stays that way.”

Williams has been off the air since the end of March. Somewhat ironically, the last story she reported was on the spread of the cornonavirus in the 49th state.

“4 New Positive COVID-19 Cases, One In Kenai,” the headline said. The last line of Williams’ story on that day said “more details to follow.”

Little could she know she was destined to become one of the details.

 

 

 

12 replies »

  1. “This time the news director for Kenia’s KSRM has revealed she’s one of the five people with COVID-19 in a community of approximately 8,000 people approximately 55 miles south of Anchorage on the shores of Cook Inlet.”

    There is one case in Kenai and four cases in Soldotna. If you are combining the two areas, the population is far more than 8,000.

  2. “This time the news director for Kenia’s KSRM has revealed she’s one of the five people with COVID-19 in a community of approximately 8,000 people approximately 55 miles south of Anchorage on the shores of Cook Inlet.”

    Neither Kenai nor Soldotna has five cases. Are you combining the two communities? Combined, the population is much more than 8,000.

    • i was working off the state’s list at the time. and yes, combined the population is larger than 8,000. and if you add Sterling and Nikiski, it’s even more. and if it’s the whole Kenai Borough, that’s even more still.

      what’s your point?

      • My point was that, at no time has the state ever reported 5 cases in either Kenai or Soldotna, so it’s incorrect.

  3. Who edited this article? UHG, the errors… And why do you think it’s ok to praise someone in the local news for going into public a week into her quarantine? This is not ok… STAY YOUR SICK ASS HOME!!!!

    • Where exactly is anyone praised?

      As for the rest of it, are you telling me you want journalists to inject their opinions into news stories? Isn’t that what folks criticize Fox News for doing whether it does it or not?

      Personally, I’m with you. She should stay home. Even if she covers her mouth, there are plenty of chances for contact contamination from anything she might touch. But that’s my opinion.

      Do a reporter’s opinions really belong in a straight news story? Shouldn’t people just be given facts so they can figure things out for themselves as you obviously did?

    • I agree Emily. Stay home if you are ill . What the double heck is she doing driving around. Her new nick name is now ”Whu Han Williams” .

    • I could be wrong, but I think she has been calling in to the daily state press briefings…I think she even called in today. She should ABSOLUTELY know not to go out while contaminated. If any journalist in the world at this point in time doesn’t know that going out in public while contaminated with corvid isn’t a good idea, it would be in Alaska. Barring a very small number of actual journalists in this state, we have idiots reporting news.

  4. Over the last decade the Chinese have bought and invested in several Italian fashion brands. Approximately 100,000 Chinese now live in northern Italy manufacturing those brands. There were several direct flights between Italian and Chinese cities to accommodate this population. These flights were stopped much later than the US stopped flights from China.

    Whether the virus started in Italy or Wuhan, the constant travel of this population efficiently transmitted the virus between these areas.
    That is most likely why they were areas with early large outbreaks.

    • Ken, I’ll ad communal family living in Italy combined with the 2nd oldest population on the planet. It is believed most of Italy’s transmission occured in hospitals.
      On a different note, 15,000 dead is not unuual. It happens every year with the flu in seniors and a death rate up to 41%.

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