Hillsong Church NYC pastor Carl Lentz tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month but is now recovered and helping others to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Lentz revealed that he had contracted the new coronavirus during an Instagram Live chat with pastor Judah Smith of Churchome in Los Angeles, California. On Tuesday, Lentz posted an update about his health on Instagram.
“I tested positive, now negative. I am very very grateful for that.. but the impact of this virus is real and the more of us that play our part, the quicker we can get to the other side of this,” Lentz wrote.
The pastor said social distancing is “inconvenient” but it’s “worth it,” even if it helps just one person. Lentz also said he believes it’s wise to wear a face mask whether they are effective or not. Surgeon General Jerome Michael Adams said on Wednesday that 25% of people have the virus and are nonsymptomatic, so he recommends everyone wear a mask.
“We have decided to donate all surgical masks to our first responders and those in desperate need,” Lentz added, sharing what he and his family are doing to help now that he's recovered.
“It’s easy to find a scarf or bandana and put them to good use right now," he added. “We have as a family done our best to lead by example, stay at home and for those asking: its perfectly ok to get some fresh air without a mask, when you’re at safe distance from other people. You can even take your mask off, throw a football with your son on the drive back from supporting people on the front lines of this fight and the sky will not fall. I promise.”
Lentz said he’s looking forward to the day when there's a cure for the virus and is glad to have some of his “beloved freedom back.” In the meantime, Lentz wants all of his congregants and 646,000 followers on Instagram to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“Let's do what we can do. In NEW YORK CITY alone, at least 5,489 people have lost their lives to this virus. To those that have lost loved ones, here and everywhere..we grieve with you and we pray this brighter day that IS on the horizon comes quickly. You are not alone in this,” he added.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 4,571 people in New York City have died of complications from COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Research Center.
Lentz first contracted the coronavirus the Sunday after Hillsong NYC closed its doors at United Palace due to the city’s restrictions on public gatherings. Lentz told Smith that his "team got hit pretty hard."
“It is definitely real...the symptoms are so real. It's kind of like a flu times 50...still don't feel like myself, I look forward to getting my energy back. My breath is a lot shorter. Fatigue is a lot quicker. My advice to people is try to take this as seriously as you can."