Karl-Anthony Towns: ‘A Lot Of Scary Nights’ Battling COVID-19

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Karl-Anthony Towns returned to game action for the first time since mid-January when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Towns missed 13 games while dealing with the virus that took the life of his mother and six other family members last year.

Towns said his “vitals weren’t good” and that his underlying conditions and genetics made his bout with the virus “scary,” at times.

“I am a high-risk case,” Towns said of his experience with the coronavirus. “COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights. One of the things that I told my sister when I got COVID was that, ‘Hey, I got it, and I don’t got a good version of it. I got a lot of COVID in me, but I am going to fight and beat it.'”

Towns added: “Through all the long nights where I was just not feeling well whatsoever and the vitals weren’t good and decisions had to be made on my health, I kept [my family and my niece and nephew] in mind. They pushed me to continue doing things. When COVID kept messing with my body, my mind and spirit, I thought about them and my mother.”

Towns said he is more “genetically connected” to his mother.

“You hear those stories where people get COVID,” Towns said. “And they’re like, oh, for four days, five days, I didn’t feel well, and then I turned the corner magically one day and I was feeling great. That did not happen with me.”

“Everyone’s case of COVID is totally different; every human and their underlying conditions are totally different,” he added. “And my underlying conditions did not play in my favor at all for COVID, yet alone one of the most scariest parts for all of us in this organization and my immediate family is how genetically connected I am to my mother.

“Nothing was playing in my favor. I knew it was going to be a rough journey.”

Towns said he also felt enormous guilt about his ability to overcome his illness with the resources he had access to that others might not.

“I felt very guilty about the treatment I got,” he said. “And I feel that should be more widely available to Americans, to anyone in the world. I felt very guilty even getting something that could help me more just recover, stay healthy, stay alive. There is such mental strain through all this time, a feeling of guilt because of the resources I have, and I wish I could spread these resources with as many people as possible. The guilt, just a lot of demons I haven’t dealt with that I put to the back burner for basketball.”