Unless you or someone you know has been infected with the coronavirus, it may be hard to imagine what it’s like to have COVID-19—and recover from it.
Does it feel like the flu? Is it intense, to the point where you feel like you are fighting for your life? Or is the more common experience one where you have few or no symptoms at all?
The truth is COVID-19 can be some or all of the above. But the majority of cases—an estimated 80%—are mild.
“I would say the number of mild cases may be even higher than 80%, as most states are not screening the general population,” says Andre Sofair, MD, MHS, a Yale Medicine internal medicine physician who has been taking care of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at Yale New Haven Hospital. “The average length of stay, based on my experience, is five or six days for patients in the hospital who are not in the ICU. There are some who recover very quickly and get out sooner, and others who end up in the hospital for two weeks-plus.”