SWFL comedian recovers from COVID-19, warns others to take it seriously

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: via WINK News.

Advocating for his health and yours, a Southwest Florida comedian is taking the coronavirus seriously, and he wants everyone to hear his message.

We introduced you to comedian John Loeber almost two months ago when he was being treated in the hospital for COVID-19.

Loeber recovered from the virus, and told us he thought it was a joke until he contracted it.

Loeber now wants to make sure community members know the long-lasting effects of COVID-19.

Five weeks ago, Loeber got to leave Gulf Coast Medical Center. Every day since then, he’s used his experience as a platform, a painfully honest one.

Loeber is a communicator.

“If I was the one who had to get this so I can be a voice to save somebody else, then, that’s fine,” Loeber said. “I really, really wanted to see if there was a way I could make a positive out of this.”

Lately, he’s been sharing a message — his story.

“I’m going to expose myself as someone who didn’t take it seriously in the beginning, who had to go through getting the disease to respect the disease,” Loeber said.

It’s been a complete turnaround for Loeber, and it took fighting for his life to change his views.

“It’s about how you deal with it at this point,” Loeber said. “For me, it’s about educating others.”

Loeber says he is finally breathing without an oxygen most of the day. And, months into the pandemic, he has a warning.

“The amazing thing about this disease is, when you talk to the doctors, how many times they’ll answer the questions with ‘I don’t know’,” Loeber said.

With so many unknowns, Loeber’s calling for people to focus on what we do know — protecting one another. Because the alternative can be deadly or, if lucky, difficult.

“Getting out of the hospital was actually difficult because, as you can imagine, not a lot of people wanted to come pick me up,” Loeber said. “There’s not one day where I don’t wake up, and I’m not like, ‘Man, I wish I hadn’t put myself in a position.’”

The comedian credits his recovery to the blood plasma donation he received. Loeber told us, while he has to wait three months to donate after receiving the transfusion, that date, Sept. 25, is already marked on his calendar.

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