An Infection Turns Dire
Reader's Digest Canada|March 2021
A severe reaction to a shin scrape raises concerns about COVID-19
Lisa Bendall

WHEN THE PANDEMIC forced Gary Corbin to start working remotely in March 2020, he counted himself lucky. Instead of having to hole up in his house in snowy Grosse Pointe, Mich., the 63-year-old mergers-and-acquisitions broker moved to his partner Cheryl’s winter place in sunny Florida.

In mid-June, as the couple made preparations to return north, Corbin dropped a metal hurricane shutter, badly scraping his left shin. He cleaned the abrasions as best he could. The next day, the couple hit the road, making various stops along the way. “In some places, too many people were not wearing masks,” recalls Corbin. “And social distancing was a joke.”

At a routine appointment a few days after arriving back in Michigan, Corbin’s sleep specialist noticed his leg injury, which had become red, itchy, and warm. He recommended having it checked and suggested a COVID-19 test as well since Corbin had been travelling. Corbin got the test and a prescription for antibiotics at a nearby urgent care centre.

Thankfully, the COVID-19 test came back negative. Lab culture of the leg wound, however, showed the antibiotic Corbin had been given wasn’t effective against this particular type of bacteria, and he’d need to switch to one called co-trimoxazole. Relieved he’d avoided COVID-19, and with his leg now healing, Corbin looked forward to the weekend, when he, his 25-year-old son Grant, and Cheryl would take their boat out of winter storage.

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