A week ago Mark Schultz was talking from an ICU bed in ifs — if he went home, if he recovered from COVID-19. Now he’s out of the hospital and on the mend.
“I just got great news. I’m going home, everybody — I’m going home,” Schultz, who owns Oblio’s, an institution in Oshkosh, said in a video recorded Monday from Ascension Mercy Hospital. “I want to get the hell out of here. I want to give up my bed to somebody who can use this bed.”
Schultz believes he contracted coronavirus on Friday, Oct. 2, likely from his business partner, and was forced to go to the hospital the following Tuesday after his breathing ability diminished. He stayed in the ICU for six days until he was released on Monday.
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All along, Schultz has been documenting his experience in videos captured on his cellphone and released on YouTube. On Tuesday, he recorded his first video from outside of the ICU.
“I’m on the mend. I’m weak but I’m getting there,” Schultz said to the camera from his home, with his 10-year-old son J.T. sitting next to him. “All your prayers. All your well wishes. That’s what helped push me through this.”
Schultz, who has criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic in most of his videos, said he was recording Tuesday’s video in response to a comment from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who also lives in Oshkosh and tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
Johnson, a Republican, said there have been “so many tragedies” for those who test positive, but “at the same time, COVID is not a death sentence.”
“Try to explain that to the 215,000 families who have lost their lives,” Schultz said. “People. This virus is real. It doesn’t treat everybody the same.”
Schultz said his son tested positive but is asymptomatic, like Schultz’s business partner. The virus produced symptoms for his wife, Sandy, but Schultz was hit the hardest.
“It kicked my butt. It put me in the hospital. It’s not the same for everybody,” Schultz said. “You got to realize that. You got to be serious about this.”