'People Who Think This Stuff Is a Joke - It's Not a Joke': Patient's Tearful Hospital COVID Update

A choir teacher in Kern County, California, gave a tearful update from his hospital bed on January 5 as he struggled for breathe following a COVID-19 diagnosis, saying, “It’s really lonely. People who think this stuff is a joke – it’s not a joke.”

Kenneth Witchard thanked people who have sent him messages of support and gave an update on his condition. He said he was sometimes strong and “sometimes I don’t feel as strong.”

Witchard said to “each and every person in my life: I love you,” and urged them, “this is not something to play with.”

He said “there’s no way to be too cautious”.

He told Storyful he went to accelerated urgent care on Saturday “because I thought something was stuck in my throat and was making me caugh up this bloodlike liquid.”

Test showed his throat was clear but a doctor advised him to take a COVID-19 test, and this came back positive.

He said, was still “a bit short of breath and have a cough and congestion in my lungs. My body is a bit achy from time to time but the medication helps with that.” Credit: Kenneth Witchard via Storyful