New York lawyer dubbed the state’s COVID-19 ‘patient zero’ says one year later that he was NOT a super-spreader because he ‘tried to keep to himself’ and recalls being told about the pandemic when he woke up from a 10-day coma
- Lawrence Garbuz was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 2, 2020
- He had been to his synagogue for a funeral and for a bar and bat mitzvah – and was commuting between New York City and New Rochelle
- He still does not know how he got the virus; experts say it was likely in the US in 2019
- Garbuz woke up from an induced coma on March 13, unaware that the world had essentially stopped
- He had to be told by his wife over FaceTime about what was happening
- He is now allowing doctors to examine him and his medical data to study the long-term effects of COVID
Lawrence Garbuz, now 51, was the first person in New York to be named as having the virus last March
The New York lawyer who was considered to be the state’s ‘patient zero’ with COVID-19 has spoken out to insist he was not a super-spreader, and is allowing doctors to study him to examine the long-term effects of the virus.
Lawrence Garbuz, now 51, was the first person in New York to be named as having the virus last March. A woman who had traveled back from Iran was the first – but she was never identified.
Shortly after he contracted it, his wife – Adina – contracted it as did some of their family and friends.
The pair live in New Rochelle and Garbuz was traveling into Manhattan for his job as a lawyer at the time. At its worst, the virus sent him into an induced coma.
Now, he and his wife are both healthy and are allowing their data to be looked over by medical experts.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, he insisted that he was not the first to have it and that other New Yorkers told him he was ill before he had it. he also said he ‘tried to keep to himself,’ according to the report.
He recalled waking up on March 13 after ten days unconscious and being told there was a global pandemic.
‘You think Rip Van Winkle had a hard time. I wake up and there’s a pandemic. There’s fear in people’s eyes,’ he said.
His symptoms started on February 22. He said he felt like he had a cold, but went to his synagogue for a funeral and for a bar and bat mitzvah. He says he tried to avoid people while there.
On February 27, he was rushed to the hospital with a cough.
Garbuz was then put in an induced coma. It wasn’t until March 2 that his family was told he had COVID-19. The following day, his name was made public.
Garbuz was in a coma until March 13.
Garbuz’s wife, Adina Lewis, also contracted the virus. She was never hospitalized
Garbuz spent ten days in an induced coma last March and woke up to the pandemic happening around him
By then, the virus had shut down all of Italy and was tearing through Europe.
He woke up unaware of what was going on and had to have it explained to him by his wife over FaceTime.
The family now jokes about becoming some of the first faces of the pandemic, saying: ‘We joke about our 15 minutes of fame.’
He now says he tells his colleagues to slow down.
‘Slow down. We’ll get everything done in the 24 hours but could probably do it at a slightly slower pace,’ he says he now tells them.
His wife, Adina, said that the family was shown enormous sympathy and kindness from people all over the world when their cases became public.
‘Somebody said to me, in all of this there were touches of humanity.
‘I said, just the opposite, there was almost all humanity, with only touches of inhumanity.’
Garbuz, shown in a previous media appearance, said he will not let doctors study his data