Caught the Rona, Here’s What it Was Like: Why Nutrition and Lifestyle Matter

by Mike Mutzel



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Illness Timeline: My primary symptoms were muscle aches, lethargy roughly four days after exposure; symptoms lasted for 36 to 48 hours.


Exposed Saturday, 11/28: Believe we got exposed while having dinner with friends. As explained in the above podcast, we have not been avoiding friends.

Before you write me off as wreck-less and irresponsible, please understand our family is not in regular contact with anyone who has underlying conditions or over the age of 65.

Also, I'm of the belief that social isolation is a risk factor for chronic disease and since our risks of severe COVID-19 are quite low, we have still been socializing with friends and family.

First Symptom Wednesday, 12/2: Upon wakening, noticed a headache and lethargy. Felt too cold to perform my regular morning routes (breath work and cold shower). Upon my first-morning breath-holds, I noticed it was hard to retain the hold for longer than 45 seconds or so. I also noticed my fasting glucose was 105 mg/dL, which is high for me.

I cancelled a scheduled filming session with my videographer, Sam (who's 30 years old and healthy) out of an abundance of caution. Called friends we visited with Saturday, one felt more tired than normal and achy–but no cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste/smell. We didn't suspect COVID-19.

Still exercised that day, but distanced myself from wife, child and wore mask and distanced around employees. (Which, BTW, my employees never got sick!)

Wednesday evening was my worst day of symptoms, experienced body aches and fatigue; fell asleep at 6:30 PM on the couch. Woke up at 7:30 PM, said goodnight to my family and headed to bed around 8:00 PM.

Increased Iodine (5 mcg/day), Vitamin D (20,000 IU), Zinc (75 mg) and Probiotics.

I also took two sessions infrared sauna (which we recently sold–as I'm building a wood-burning sauna.

Last Day of Symptoms Thursday, 12/3:  Felt better upon wakening, less achy and tired but was obvious my body was fighting something. Went for a hike with my daughter and still maintained distance from family, others.

Went to friend Ben Lynch's house to get Vitamin A (took 100,000 IU's) and wore a mask the entire time–much to his chagrin! I knew he was traveling soon and saw no point in getting him whatever I was fighting. I told him, “I highly doubt it's COVID-19, but just to be safe.”

He laughed and said, “I doubt it's COVID…you don't look sick so take that mask off.” My intuition led me to keep the mask on.

Thankfully, due to the things I did mentioned in the video below, my sleep was great throughout–which likely led to a fast recovery.

I also used Neli-Med nasal rinses, as mentioned below–sometimes twice per day and always prior to bed. Keeping nasal passages clean with saline rinses during an illness, is in my opinion, very helpful.

Psst…this video was filmed on December 7th; four days after my last COVID sypmtom.


Nearly Symptom-Free Friday, 12/4: Starting to feel much better upon wakening. . Continued taking supplements, but was unable to take a cold shower–still felt less tolerance to cold, although much, much better. Continued to wear masks around employees and distanced from spouse. Lifted weights (back) on this day with no problems.

100% Symptom Free Saturday, 12/5:  Performed all activities as per usual, but declined all social events over the weekend out of an abundance of caution.

Family Exercise on Sunday, 12/6:  Performed five, 100 meter sprints up a very steep hill. Noticed a small performance decline, but didn't suspect COVID-19 whatsoever.  Built a deck for my sauna that afternoon. 

As you can tell in the video below, I'm a little short of breath, but that's expected after a four sets of 120 meter hill sprints.

Looking back on it, I'm very surprised the illness we had as indeed a respiratory virus–as our athletic performance wasn't impacted at all.

Family Sprints Filmed Sunday, December 6th (three days after last symptom)

Monday, 12/7:  Lived life as per normal. Suspected the ‘bug' I caught was just a common cold. Saw friends and people without a mask–no one has gotten ill and have tested negative.

Sam and I filmed inside with no masks, he has been illness free and has tested since (per another client's request) and has tested negative.

It seems, at least in the case of mild illness, window of infectivity is quite small.

Tuesday, 12/8 through Saturday 12/13: Went hunting in Southwest Arkansas. Wore facial covering during travel. Had no noticeable symptoms–other than I noticed a muted sense of smell on Thursday, December 9th (I was the only one who couldn't smell hogs on the trip).

Despite sleeping in the same room with Danny Vega and Robert Sikes while on four day trip, they and all other friends are symptom and COVID-free. Though, one friend, Brandon Scott, did recently experience muscle aches–but has since tested was negative for both nasal PCR and SARVs-CoV-2 antibodies. (He and his family traveled to DC in the weeks after the hunt, so perhaps got exposed to something else while on the road.)

Thursday, 12/17: Noticed my sense of taste was muted, was surprised and called my friends who we had dinner with end of November. They informed me that they were recently told one person we were with had an ex spouse that was confirmed positive sometime after Thanksgiving, and that we were likely exposed via this route.

No one had severe symptoms, outside of body aches and lethargy. The eldest of the crew was a man in his early fifties, who didn't have any respiratory symptoms–though he has routinely exercised for the past 35 years.

On Friday December 18th I had my antibodies tested (screenshot below). Much to my surprise, they were positive.

Long-Term Symptoms:

At this point, nearly 30 days since first exposure, my sense of smell is still slightly muted. It's strange, but not life-impacting at this point.

Upon waking in the morning, my energy is an eight out of 10. I'm back to cold showers and morning breath-work. Exercise recovery and strength is at pre-infection level.

While I don't have any data to prove this (yet) it seems that post-infectious illness hinges on viral load at the most infectious point.

If that's the case, the key is to have an early and robust immune response to help keep the viral load down–and prevent the autoimmune-like collateral damage–that likely leads to long-hauler symptoms.


Where can you get antibodies tested?

I ended up just going to Lab Corp. They do offer IgA and IgM, but I only was able to get IgG drawn at an outpatient clinic. The nice part about having antibodies is you can donate plasma to teaching hospitals so they can use in convalescent plasma therapy treatments and more.

Here's the screen shot of page four of my blood work; my legal name is Julian Michael Mutzel (if you're wondering).

Mike Mutzel Covid-19 Antibodies





Join the conversation

  1. I don’t understand: what were you doing visiting with friends at all? You use the phrase “out of an abundance of caution” quite a bit, so I’m surprised.

    • Hi there Robinoche,

      As I mentioned in the video and podcast above, for us personally, our risk of social isolation is greater then severe outcome if actually catching the virus (COVID-19). Does that make sense? Social isolation, by its very nature, is a health problem.

      That said, when I felt symptoms, I cancelled everything as I never want to be the one who gets others sick irregardless of what the source of the infection is.

      Thankfully, everyone I and my wife have come in contact with in that week is sick-free and COVID free.

      Really makes me wonder if viral load of the infected host plays into the degree of infectivity.



  2. So my husband brought it home from his work. He’s morbidly obese, pre-diabetic, horrible diet, high blood pressure, psoriatic/rheumatoid arthritis and 7 years older than me. I’m young, a nutritionist with a good diet, was working out 5 days a week, take supplements and I had a worse case than him and ended up taking 7 weeks to fully recover. So I was a “long hauler”. I’ve talked to a lot of young, healthy, fit people who were severely impacted, it’s not just unhealthy people.

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for sharing. I’ve actually heard similar stories from women–I wonder if there’s something to do with either viral load or HLA-DQ phenotype that impacts infection trajectory.

      For most of the clients I’ve worked with, their spouses who aren’t as healthy got more severely impacted, but there are a few who seem to do everything right but have a more severe course.

      By chance, have you done any genetic testing or have any allergy or autoimmune susceptibility genes?



    • Hi Natalie. My father is 72, and has a similar description of your husband. He also has COPD. He contracted covid, had regular flu-like symptoms, and the only thing he’s (thankfully) been debilitated by is his lack of smell (and therefore taste.) I’m just commenting because everyone’s experience is different, no matter their age or health condition. Meh. :-\

      My dad does take vitamins/supplements, but no exercise or going outside. He contracted it most likely because he lives with my brother, a TSA employee. TSA has been fully masked at work, but viruses gonna do what viruses gonna do 😉 My dad wore/wears masks in public and doesn’t socialize at all (aside from my family of 4- we live 4 houses away)

      My mini soapbox on this topic is that I personally just wish people would take normal precautions and normal flu fear levels and omit shaming people who carry-on however they are going to carry-on. If people want to shame a person, it should be in the way of “wash your hands” or “take some vitamin d” because these are the most effective things a person can do (aside from getting vitamin d from the sun 😉 )

      I am so sorry you contracted covid and ended up being more debilitated than you should have been given your dedication to fitness! I hope you fully recover soon if you haven’t already. <3 Looking forward to better days in 2021 for everyone!

  3. I had heart attack over 6 years ago and had icd implant, I have ate only healthy food for last 8or 9 years and ride my bicycle 60 to 80 miles every week for last 7 years, I am 61 years old, and came down with COVID-19 around DECEMBER 3 no fever, chills, respiratory problems only runny nose some body aches and some head aches. Did test positive so I know I had it , only been on my bike about 4 or 5 times since December 3 but no respiratory problems even on bike, just kinda taking it easy because of heart problems, but doing well.

  4. And I live in Az. Mountain areas so my bike ride is not easy my rides range from 1,000 to 2,000 elevation gains on every bike ride

    • Hi Kate,

      It’s muted a little, but coming back more daily. It’s really interesting that the virus impacts olfaction, need to dive more into the neurology of that–it’s a bit concerning–but what are you doing to do?



  5. There is lots of science around humidity and temperature as ways to kill viruses. Humidity levels are easy to achieve. I run 2 humidifiers in my house on even days to 60 RH. On odd days it naturally drops to 40 RH. I also take the correct amount of D for me. FYI: I am old and retired, I once held the rare certificate of HFDP and was a special consultant to hospitals mostly in Washington, but also Alaska, Oregon and California. I have lung scaring from my twenties and I wear a P-100 fitted filter mask. My bubble is small and zoom is my friend. I am embarrassed by the FEDs not cranking out N-95’s and better masks. I am convinced if everyone was wearing a N-95 we would be open. Thanks for sharing. Ric

    • Interesting points, Ric! I wonder how impactful masks would have been in the USA–antibody analysis from the Red Cross shows ~6% of blood samples from December of 2019 had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, indicating the virus was well seeded prior to any Government mandates etc… in March 2020.

      Agree better masks would be helpful–some of the masks I see people wearing around (often improperly) maybe an exposure source themselves!

      Stay healthy,


    • Hi there,

      Several studies suggest they start increasing 10 days post infection. Plan to donate plasma to University of Washington here soon so we’ll see how long they stay elevated.


  6. Hi Mike,
    I don’t exactly follow your reasoning of socializing with only low risk friends and exposing them to the virus when you must know that they possibly will not be as careful as you and may well end up exposing people in high risk groups.

  7. Hi Mike,
    You had mentioned a probiotic you took while taking antibiotics for an infection you got in Hawaii; however I can’t find the name of this probiotic in the notes. I might need to take antibiotics for a wound I got falling while trail running. Can you please let me know what probiotic to take simultaneously?
    Thanks, Roxana

  8. Hi Mike! I absolutely LOVE your content! I am inspired to improve my health as well as teach others each time I watch your videos. Have you ever considered developing a master class, mentorship program or certificate program of training? I believe many are inspired by your story and would be honored to be one of your students.

    Keep up the good work!

    Well wishes,

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