Out Broadway actor and dancer Adam Perry, who recently starred in Frozen, says he’s still suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 nearly four months after being diagnosed with the virus.
“It’s quite terrifying to be honest. There’s nothing like the feeling of not being able to breathe,” Perry told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Thursday.
“It’s not like getting the flu or a cold virus, where you start getting better after a few days, and your trajectory is on the way up,” Perry added. “With this thing, I would feel better for a few days, and then it would just come and smack me again. In the very beginning, I had two days of symptoms, and then I felt like a million bucks for three days, so I thought I was off the hook, I thought I had beat it, but then it came back with a vengeance.”
Perry added that while doctors believe his condition will improve over time, he fears the long-term effects of COVID-19 could impact his career.
“I’ve been doing eight shows a week for 15, 20 years,” he said. “I’ve been doing eight-minute tap dance numbers. My lungs have always been great. But now the capacity is not the same, and I’m just praying daily that they’ll get back to normal and I’ll be able to do those things again.”
Bolduan then asked Perry to elaborate on one of his recent Facebook posts, in which he wrote: “I cried watching the news tonight. Cases are spiking. The president makes jokes about coronavirus. People shame others for wearing masks. The country is making it a partisan issue.”
“It’s not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue, we have to take care of each other,” Perry told Bolduan. “It really is about teamwork with this thing, and we all have to come together, wear a mask, socially distance for as long as we can until there’s a vaccine, because this thing has an infinite variable of outcomes for people. There’s short term, long term, and we just don’t know, so it’s just really important that people take care of each other, and I just really don’t want other people to have to experience what I experienced.”
In a recent Instagram post after appearing on ABC News’ Nightline, Perry drew parallels between the coronavirus pandemic and the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
View this post on Instagram
Link in bio- thank you @nightline @doctor.darien and @jujuchangabc for having me on Nightline last night. On March 17 I tested positive for Coronavirus. I had two weeks of intense and terrifying symptoms. In April I retested negative and I have now tested positive for antibodies. but lingering respiratory symptoms have remained, sprinkled with intermittent days of complete recovery. As scary as the physical symptoms are, what’s worse is thinking you are recovered and then being smacked with symptoms again. Although my episodes are improved, they still occur after 100+ days. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one having these episodes, so I was shocked (but also relieved) to find out there are 10s of thousands of covid long haulers out there too. After much research and doctor visits, it seems to be a pendulum swinging that eventually will stop swinging. At least I hope so! I am eager to speak about my personal experience with this virus. Last year I did a lot of reading about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. One thing that really struck me was the lack of media coverage, the shame, stigma, and silence that surrounded it in the beginning. I’m not comparing this pandemic to the AIDS epidemic. They are very different diseases, but given the opportunity to use my voice in a capacity that will shed more light on what’s happening, I will gladly shout it because history teaches us that silence can truly equal death.
“Last year I did a lot of reading about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic,” he wrote. “One thing that really struck me was the lack of media coverage, the shame, stigma, and silence that surrounded it in the beginning. I’m not comparing this pandemic to the AIDS epidemic. They are very different diseases, but given the opportunity to use my voice in a capacity that will shed more light on what’s happening, I will gladly shout it because history teaches us that silence can truly equal death.”
More from Perry via Instagram below.