NBC anchor Kate Snow has shared tips for taking care of loved ones who are battling coronavirus at home after helping nurse her husband Chris Bro back to health.
The 50-year-old journalist gave an update on her husband’s symptoms on the Today show on Tuesday while calling in from her family home in New York’s Westchester County, where she has been self-isolating with Bro and their two teenage children.
‘We are so lucky. I feel so blessed that he is feeling much much better,’ she told host Sheinelle Jones. ‘A lot of people don’t ever go to the hospital. He didn’t have to go to the hospital.’
Recommendations: NBC anchor Kate Snow, 50, has shared her top tips for taking care of loved ones who are battling the coronavirus at home
Tools: Snow’s husband Chris Bro, 50, has been sick for nearly two weeks. They have been using the Pulse Oximeter app to measure his blood-oxygen level and a spirometer for his lungs
Snow said Bro had to wait until he felt well enough to drive to get tested for coronavirus over the weekend. It took three days for him to get a drive-thru appointment, and they’re still waiting for his results.
‘We’re presuming he has coronavirus, but we haven’t confirmed it just yet,’ she said.
After reporting that her husband is on the mend, Snow went on to detail the things she used to monitor Bro’s health and keep him from infecting her or their children over the past two weeks.
Bro, who has been sick since April 2, suffered from body aches, a fever, tightness in the chest, and some trouble breathing. He has been secluded away in a guest room in the family’s basement, where he has his own bathroom.
When Snow’s doctors first heard of her husband’s symptoms, he recommend the Pulse Oximeter app, which uses a camera to measure heart rate and blood-oxygen level.
Show and tell: The journalist demonstrated how the Pulse Oximeter app uses a camera to measure heart rate and blood-oxygen level.
Making it work: Snow said ‘app was a live saver’ because handheld pulse oximeters (pictured) are difficult to find amid the pandemic
In a healthy person, oxygen saturation measures greater than 95 per cent, but some patients with COVID-19 see their blood-oxygen levels drop.
‘A normal reading is in the 99 to 100 range. I’m not a doctor, but that’s what I’ve been told,’ Snow said. ‘If it starts to dip low — you want to ask your own doctor what low means for you — that’s where you get in trouble.’
Numbers: In a healthy person, oxygen saturation measures greater than 95 per cent, but some patients with COVID-19 see their blood-oxygen levels drop
The anchor’s doctor told her that if Bro’s blood-oxygen levels dropped to a certain number, she should take him to the ER.
‘I checked it every three hours,’ she said, noting that the ‘app was a live saver’ because handheld pulse oximeters are difficult to find amid the pandemic and are needed by healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, Bro’s sister, who is a nurse, recommended he use a spirometer to strengthen his breathing while battling the illness.
‘It’s sort of like a game that you use to … exercise your lungs,’ Snow explained. ‘You suck air … and you try to get this piston to rise … doing the deepest breath you can.’
The mother of two said people are usually given spirometers after surgery, but they typically aren’t recommended for people with ‘trouble’ breathing.’
Although it worked for Bro, who didn’t really have issues with his breathing, Snow urged people to talk to a health care provider before using one.
Snow took to social media last week to share a video of Bro talking about how using a spirometer helped him recover.
Tools: Snow also demonstrated how her husband used a spirometer to ‘exercise’ his lungs while battling the illness
‘I still have a cough every once in a while. I think the little breathing apparatus helped,’ he said before pulling it out. ‘It’s super fun.’
Unsurprisingly, her last tip is to clean, something she has been doing like a ‘madwoman’ since her husband got sick.
‘You can take a third a cup of bleach and mix it with a gallon of water. That’s per the CDC,’ she said. ‘Wipe down every surface … a countertop, a table, not wood because the bleach would stain it, but things that you can safely bleach. The CDC says that will kill the coronavirus.’
Snow stressed that you have to let the bleach sit for a minute or so until it dries.
‘That’s what the CDC says,’ she explained. ‘The bleach has to air dry, and that’s what kills the virus.’
Behind the scenes: Snow took to social media last week to share a video of Bro talking about how using a spirometer helped him recover
Waiting game: It took over a week for Bro to get his appetite back after suffering from body aches, a fever, tightness in the chest, and some trouble breathing
Snow has continued to report on the virus from inside her home while giving viewers an update on her husband’s progress as he continues to battle the illness.
Last week, she shared that Bro was ‘still pretty sick’ seven days in, but she noted that he had ‘been improving each day.’
The family’s home is located in the suburbs of New York City, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. There have been more than 194,000 cases and 10,834 deaths in the state as of Tuesday.
On April 9, Snow tweeted a photo of herself sitting on the stairs while talking to her husband of 21 years through the door of his basement bedroom.
‘This is how we’re seeing each other now,’ she wrote. ‘@chrisbronext is feeling much better. He’s now roaming more of the basement to get exercise. Still sick but hurts less & the “catch” when he would take a deep breath isn’t as bad. Still coughing & working on breathing exercises.’
Doting wife: Snow has been taking care of her husband, who has been self-isolating in the basement of their family home in New York’s Westchester County
Symptoms: Bro, who has his own bedroom and bathroom in the basement, said ‘moving hurts’ and ‘sleeping hurts,’ but he does not have a fever and is not struggling to breathe
Snow first revealed her husband had developed coronavirus symptoms in a video she shared on social media on April 5. She explained to NBC Nightly News viewers that she would not be anchoring the show because she was staying home to care for him.
Concern: Snow said her ‘greatest fear’ was she’d have to take her husband to hospital and leave their children at home alone
She opened up about Bro’s symptoms and her fears that he will have to be hospitalized in a piece written for Today.com
The anchor said she first noticed something was wrong when Bro said he wasn’t feeling well and then developed red eyes.
‘Chris is a very healthy 50-year-old who works out a lot. ‘He’s been told by physicians that he has the heartbeat of an athlete (and indeed he was a college soccer player),’ she wrote. ‘But right now he is quite sick. He says that moving hurts. Sleeping hurts.
‘He’s had trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position and often wakes early. He has a dry cough. He has chills. He’s lost his sense of smell and taste. Even chocolate, his favorite thing on Earth, tastes disgusting.’
Announcement: Snow revealed on April 5 that Bro had developed coronavirus symptoms, and said she would be taking care of him at home
Support system: Snow admitted that she is struggling with the exhausting task of caring for her husband, looking after their two children, and making sure everyone is safe and fed
Snow went on to note that there were some positive aspects regarding her husband’s condition — namely that Bro had not developed a fever and was not currently having any difficulty breathing.
At the time, she was ‘nervous’ his condition could take a drastic turn for the worse.
‘My mind knows that he’s probably going to be just fine,’ she explained. ‘But I’m a reporter and I’ve been covering this for weeks. It’s hard for my mind not to wander into worst-case scenarios.
‘I’m nervous that we’re at the day-four or day-five mark right now and I’ve heard stories of people getting worse at that point.’
Snow said her ‘biggest fear’ was that she would have to take Bro to the hospital and leave her children home alone.
Spread: As of Tuesday, there are nearly 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.
Close to home: Snow’s family home is located in the suburbs of New York City, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic
‘We have no family here so I made a plan with my neighbor that if I have to leave, and the kids are alone, she’ll help them,’ she said. ‘It makes me emotional because that’s my biggest fear: I won’t be able to take care of my kids.’
As well as worrying about her husband and their children, Zach and Abigail, Snow confessed that she was also growing increasingly exhausted and anxious herself while juggling caring for the kids and looking after Bro.
But Snow added that she was incredibly grateful for the family’s support system — namely their ‘amazing’ neighbors who have been delivering food to their home every time they go to the store to ensure she doesn’t have to risk going out herself.
‘I know that we are lucky. Lucky that we have so much support, that we don’t live in a tiny apartment, that we went shopping weeks ago and we have plenty of food. Lucky that we’re not in a hospital,’ she wrote.
The NBC anchor also urged others who are going through the same situation to seek an outlet for their emotion, whether that’s a friend who they can confide in, a tough workout, or even therapy.