FACES OF COVID: Survivor Diego Lopez “Did Everything Right”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 15, 2020) - Diego Lopez, 29, is one of more than 4,000 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the Nashville area. He wants the queer community to know that, despite its best efforts to help flatten the curve by staying safe and take precautions, it could still be at risk.

Lopez began following “safer at home” recommendations as soon as they were released in March. At the time, officials scrambled to provide guidance during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any time he left his home in Antioch, for whatever reason, he wore a mask, he said. He washed his hands often. He kept a safe distance from people. 

Weeks later, when some local restaurants began to open back up, he decided to join friends for dinner downtown at Rodizio Grill. That was Wednesday, May 13.

The following Monday, he had a fever. Sometime Tuesday, he woke up covered in sweat.

“Only one other person we had dinner with exhibited some symptoms, and that was just a headache,” Lopez said. “No one else from that night tested positive that I know of. I thought it was just a fever and that I had sweated it out, and it was over,” Lopez said.

Then, on Wednesday night, came the vomiting. It passed by the next morning, but by dinner time Thursday, May 21, it became clear to Lopez that this wasn’t just a bug.

“I realized that I had lost my sense of smell,” said Lopez. “Then Friday, I lost my sense of taste. It was really weird. I’ve never experienced something like that before. I couldn’t smell or taste anything at all.”

That Friday, May 22, Lopez went to a free testing station set up at Nissan Stadium. But he had heard that it could take up to two weeks to get a test back, and he didn’t want to wait that long. So, on Sunday, May 24, he headed to a private clinic on Charlotte Pike. Two days later, he received a positive test result for COVID-19.

“I felt fine other than the lack of taste and smell,” Lopez recalled. “I went through a really mild case according to my doctors. I had no complications breathing, just the loss of those senses.”

Lopez lives with one other person, his cousin, and the two took extra precaution at home. Lopez said they only shared common spaces like the living room and kitchen. For the most part, Lopez was isolated in his room, only leaving to pick up food he had ordered. Lopez is a Human Resources professional, and was able to work from home.

Contract tracers from the Metro Nashville Health Department called Lopez Wednesday June 3, to give him the “okay” to leave his home again as of  Friday, June 5. Lopez said he had not regained his sense of smell or taste at that point, and felt like it was too soon to break from quarantine less than two weeks after his initial positive test result.

Even though he was cleared by health department contact tracers, Lopez voluntarily tested again Tuesday, June 9, and received a negative result.

“It’s not a joke. It’s not made up,” said Lopez. “We have to learn how to live with this and take it seriously. I wore my mask everywhere and I still caught it. Get tested immediately if you show symptoms.”


This article has been supported by a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project for COVID-19 coverage.



WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less