Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)

Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

A Stettler couple known for their stellar musical gifts are now speaking out about their harrowing battles with COVID-19.

Russ and Luanne Carl, part of the popular local band Renegade Station, posted a powerful and sobering video recently where they detailed their experiences with COVID-19 this past summer.

Both contracted the infection in July when there was a spike in cases in the County of Stettler.

They are now hopeful that by being completely open about it, that people will in general take the pandemic more seriously and also do more to bolster personal precautionary measures.

As mentioned, both were infected but Luanne’s battle was particularly severe.

“My symptoms started on about July 11th,” explained Luanne during a recent interview. “I thought it was allergies – something I have had since I was a little girl. I can tell the difference between my allergies and a cold.”

The couple were heading down to Lethbridge to go camping, and besides the sniffles, she was feeling fine.

They met up with family at the campground, and mentioned the following day that they were going to keep up the social distancing because she didn’t want to get anyone else sick.

But in the meantime, her symptoms continued to worsen. “I still wasn’t thinking that I had COVID. But on the Tuesday I woke up and I felt awful,” she explained, adding she was feeling sicker by the hour at that point.

“Thirty minutes would go by and I would be that much worse.”

By the time they returned home, Luanne headed to bed feeling absolutely exhausted. And by this point, Russ was starting to feel symptoms as well.

They also arranged to be tested for COVID-19.

“We didn’t leave the house. We had friends bring us some groceries, and we just stayed in. I wasn’t well enough to even go outside.”

By the end of that week, Russ was starting to improve in terms of symptoms, although he would ultimately lose his senses of taste and smell for about three months.

Luanne’s condition, however, continued to worsen.

“On the Saturday and Sunday, I was too weak to even walk. I needed Russ to help me with pretty much everything. Everything hurt, and it would make me nauseous so I would take Gravol to counteract that,” she recalled.

“I also had chest pain – and that was when I got really scared. It woke me up,” she said, recalling how she was also dreading being hospitalized and having to be quarantined from her family.

“You go through all of those scenarios,” she said. “And this whole time my gums were bleeding – and when I say bleeding I mean bleeding. Not just when you are brushing your teeth and it happens sometimes,” she said.

Early the next week they were tested. “For me, just to get in the vehicle and go to the testing drive-through was enough to put me in bed for the rest of the day.”

The next day, she woke up at 5 a.m. and literally couldn’t close her mouth.

“I couldn’t eat or chew, and of course my gums were bleeding.” That was the day she went to the hospital, where she was treated initially for pneumonia as the COVID-19 results hadn’t been returned at that point.

She went home, and two days later learned that she and Russ had tested positive.

Improvements came very gradually, and to this day, there are some lasting effects. “I still have issues with my gums,” she said. “And I still have to rest or have a nap on my lunch hour.

“Looking back, we’ve had a couple of shows since and I would think that I must be out of shape because I would be out of breath.”

Luanne also explained that they knew at some point they wanted to share their story.

“We talked about it very soon after recovering that we needed to tell our story,” she said, noting that they were at first hesitant because they felt a bit of stigma about it.

“How did I get this? What did I do wrong? And then there was the absolute guilt about having to contact the people you were with – I was a sobbing mess. Russ had to talk to our kids,” she said.

Thankfully, no one they were with during the camping trip was infected.

They hope the video builds awareness abut the seriousness of COVID-19, and makes more folks realize how vitally important it is to be careful. Since they spoken about it, the story has also gone national appearing in the Calgary Herald, CTV and the National Post and beyond.

“We’ve had more positive messages than negative,” she said. “We all just need to be careful – we need to get this under control and we need to stay safe.

“It’s about looking out for your fellow human beings,” she said. “And there are lots of ways we can still support our small businesses, and lots of things we can do to help each other and to stay safe and not hurt someone who is more vulnerable.”

You can check out the video on the Renegade Station Facebook page.

Just Posted

A gofundme account has been set up for Lilac the husky, of Blackfalds. (Photo from gofundme)
Dog ends up in coma after a walk in Blackfalds

Dog finds a baggie that likely contained drugs

(Contributed)
Red Deer man reported missing

Red Deer RCMP seek public’s assistance

An attendee of the Maskwacis memorial held on May 31, 2021, for the 215 school children found in Kamloops, B.C. the week before, holds a teddy bear. <ins>The grandstand was filled with 215 bears to represent the lost children. They were offered to residential school survivors at the end of the memorial. </ins>(Photo illustration by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven before a confidence vote in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday June 21, 2021. Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven faces a no-confidence vote in the Riksdag parliament, after the Left Party said this week that it had lost confidence in Lofven and his center-left minority government. (Anders Wiklund / TT via AP)
Swedish PM loses confidence vote, sparking uncertainty

Prime minister has one week to call new election or ask parliament speaker to find a new government

A large number of supporters were out Saturday at a rally intended to bring awareness about including Hinduism in the grade 2 portion of the K-6 draft curriculum. As it stands now, Hinduism won’t be taught until grade 6 in the proposed draft curriculum. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Video: Rally to support adding Hinduism to draft curriculum draws crowd in Red Deer

The Hindu community in Red Deer came out in droves on Saturday… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Canada to unveil travel rules for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents

OTTAWA — Canada is set to detail what quarantine rules citizens and… Continue reading

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, October 17, 2016. Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of a new Las Vegas National Lacrosse League franchise. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash join forces with Las Vegas lacrosse team

League’s 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022

Orlando City and Montreal Impact players take a knee before their MLS match, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
CF Montreal finds two new home venues as Gold Cup comes to Fort Lauderdale

Exploria Stadium has been Toronto FC’s home field this year

Police and firefighters respond after a truck drove into a crowd of people injuring them during The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors, Fla., on Saturday, June 19, 2021. WPLG-TV reports that the driver of the truck was taken into custody. (Chris Day/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Officials say deadly Pride parade crash was not intentional

Driver and the victims were a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family

FILE - In this April 18, 2017, file photo, a conference worker passes a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook is launching podcasts and live audio streams in the U.S. Monday, June 21, 2021, to keep users engaged on its platform and to compete with emerging rivals.(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
Facebook launches podcasts, live audio service

Handful of podcasts will first be available to people in the U.S.

Intricate cloth masks with Indigenous design made by Teresa Snow. Facebook/ Masks4Maskwacis
‘Masks 4 Maskwacis’ wins Northern Lights Volunteer Award

The group received recognition for their efforts to support their community during COVID-19.

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read