Jon Gosselin sits in his hospital bed while battling COVID-19. He is wearing an oxygen mask.


Jon Gosselin is all too familiar with the highs and lows of life after starring in the hit reality show "Jon & Kate Plus 8." But nothing could prepare him for the challenge he's facing now: COVID-19.


Gosselin was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late December and spent 10 days in the hospital, where his fevers spiked and his oxygen dropped. He joined Dr. Oz on the show to talk about the moment he knew something was terribly wrong and the fear he has now over the unknown future of his health.

"One day I just felt like crap and the next thing you know I was diagnosed with COVID," Gosselin said. "It's real."

The 43-year-old dad said he developed a dry cough around Dec. 21 and felt "a little off." By the time he got home from work the next day, he said, he had a fever of about 102 degrees F. He didn't notice any difficulty breathing, so he just went to sleep it off. The next day, he was excessively sweating and experiencing what felt like flu symptoms. So he went to a clinic to get a COVID-19 test.

As three days passed, his temperature continued to rise, but Gosselin still didn't think he had COVID-19. He was still waiting for the results of his test. But on Dec. 26, Gosselin said, he lost his senses of taste and smell — telltale signs that doctors have said indicate a coronavirus infection.

"When I lost my taste and smell, then I knew I had it," he said.

He finally went to the hospital two days later on Dec. 28, when his fever had nearly reached 105 degrees F.

Gosselin said he sat in a wheelchair in a packed hospital waiting room before being put on a gurney and wheeled to a hallway, waiting again, this time for a temporary room. After some blood tests, Gosselin was given rounds of antibiotics, steroids and COVID-19 antibody infusions. Once he had a permanent room, there was just a lot of sleeping.

"It was just surreal. I didn't even realize why I was there 'til like three days later," he said.

He was put on forced air, which Gosselin described as something similar to a C-PAP machine that's "super uncomfortable" and "jams" air into your lungs.

Gosselin said he did his best to follow all the advice of the medical staff, which included sleeping on his side and taking medicine to prevent blood clots.

"It was a constant medical routine," he said.

His days also included blood draws and lab tests. He even had to use bed urinals and bedside commodes, because he was too weak to get up and use the bathroom. Telling Dr. Oz of his experience, Gosselin described a situation that was actually pretty dire.

His doctor told him that "one more day, I probably would have been vented," Gosselin said. The death rate in situations like this goes up after a ventilator is introduced.

"I didn't think about dying at all. I think about it now, after the fact, because I have time to think about it. There, I was just concentrating on breathing, ... eating, being healthy, being mentally healthy, because no one can visit you," Gosselin said.

Even as he struggled to breathe in the hospital, Gosselin hadn't sent the news to his estranged ex-wife Kate and the six of their kids who live with her. "Unless Hannah told then," he said referring to their 16-year-old daughter who lives with him, that part of his family was unaware of his grave circumstances. In fact, he said, he "didn't let anyone know." He just wanted to get better.

"I just wanted to focus on my health, getting better and coming to grips and accepting the fact that I actually got COVID-19," he said.

Even though he's home now, Gosselin is still not in the clear. He carries oxygen with him, though he doesn't always have to use it. He dreads walking up the stairs in his house, and he can't even take the trash out. And he's concerned about any possible long-term damage that's been done to his lungs and the rest of his body.

"Those long-term things are more fearful for me because I'm a very active person," Gosselin said, adding that it's the future he's focused on now, including when it comes to his family.

"I hope that one day I can be part of your life," he said, speaking of his estranged children. "I'm glad that I get a second chance. I was more concerned about myself in the hospital and getting better and getting back to my family. I miss them," he said.

These are the things, he said, his diagnosis has put into perspective for him.

"What's really important vs. all the little stupid things that upset you through the day or the week. It doesn't really matter. My ideology and thinking moving forward — even career-wise and life-wise — it's gonna be more family-focused," he said. "Things are slower now for me, recovering from COVID. So I'm thinking about things more specifically than on a broad spectrum."


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7 Essential Items to Have for a Pandemic Date, According to a Relationship Expert

Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert Vikki Ziegler says you should treat COVID-19 like an STD.

Just when we thought relationships and dating could not get any more complicated, the pandemic took this matter to a whole new level. Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert, Vikki Ziegler receives an abundance of questions about this exact topic, every single day. Her fans and followers message her via her social media channels, in the hopes of finding the right way to safely date during these times. So, if this topic has crossed your mind, rest assured you are not alone.

For those who used to "swipe left and right," on the regular, Vikki recommends slowing down for the time being, no matter what type of antibacterial wipes are being used between your swipes. Serial dating during COVID-19 can be dangerous and also very selfish at the same time. This might be a good time to either take a break from dating altogether, or invest more time in one relationship and being monogamous, at least for right now. "Everyone should treat COVID-19 as they do an STD, while dating and practice safe EVERYTHING, even beyond just intimacy," says Ziegler. "This will simplify the process and make the do's and don'ts much less complex."

She recommends that new partners keep the dating virtual prior to both being tested and or having the vaccine. "Screendating" can still be both fun and safe at the same time. She suggests that you still wear your favorite new dress, get that fresh haircut or blowout and act as though you are still going out, even if the date is happening in the privacy of your own home. She has suggested some ideas such as virtual movie nights, happy hours, cooking classes, and the most obvious, the at-home and virtual dining date. This would entail both partners ordering food to each of their respective homes, but using the same menu as if they were dining in person.

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