Sidelined NHRA Driver Bob Tasca: What It’s like to Have COVID-19

Editor’s note: I thought I would take some time to share this article about a racer who had been struck with Covid-19 and his experience with it. Bob Tasca, driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang Funny Car in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s E3 Spark Plugs Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Tasca, 44, offered the following blog for his fans ahead of this weekend’s event:
I want to thank everyone for all the well-wishes and prayers. I am truly blessed to have so many people praying for me. It has been an incredibly challenging time for me and my family. I hope my experience can help others get through this difficult time.

I was exposed to the virus on Father’s Day at a small gathering of family only at my Dad’s home. Even though we were all being cautious, at some point within an hour span eight members of my family contracted the virus. Within days, we tested positive. What was real scary, had I not been tested I would have exposed many other people to the virus because I had no real symptoms for seven days. The second week was far different. 
As a driver, I live a healthy life. I eat well and exercise and was in very good health before I got COVID, but over the next seven days I was brought to my knees with symptoms. 
What makes this virus so deadly is it attacks your whole body. I had body aches so bad I could hardly move, fever that lasted days, a resting heart rate that ping-ponged wildly for four straight days. However, what really took me down was my breathing. I ended up developing pneumonia in both of my lungs from the virus. 
I had a dry cough that was uncontrollable. One morning my oxygen level dropped to a point where I knew I needed help. After spending a few days in the hospital they were able to help control my cough and get my lungs stronger. I can’t thank the staff of nurses and doctors at Kent County Hospital (Warwick, Rhode Island) enough. They are truly on the front lines of this fight!
Over the last few days I have definitely turned the corner. Now I need to focus on building myself back up. I’ve lost over 11 pounds.
My message to everyone that reads this is simple: First, do everything you can not to catch or spread the virus. Wear masks, respect social distancing guidelines, wash your hands (I believe I contracted the virus by touching something) and if you have any symptoms at all, get tested! Most people that get it will have mild symptoms, but you can spread it to people who could die if they get it.
Second, if you have any underlying conditions at all you need to take extra precautions. I was the healthiest person I knew and it took everything I had to pull through this. This isn’t a five-day bout with the flu. This is a 14-day-plus bout that attacks your nervous system, lungs and heart all at the same time. Don’t underestimate this virus—it can be deadly!
As for racing, I’m brokenhearted I will not be with my team this weekend. This will be the first time in my career I’ll miss a race, but nothing is more important to me than the safety of my team, fans and competitors. Trust me, I’ll be back soon. I want to thank Jonnie Lindberg for stepping in for me. I know he will do great. He is a great driver and a first-class guy!
Last, I want to thank my “head nurse,” my wife. She has been amazing helping me through this. I couldn’t imagine going through this without her by my side.

I’ll be back!

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