Legislative candidate diagnosed with COVID-19 faces challenges

Linda Patterson

Arizona Capitol Times:

Campaigning in the COVID-19 era has been hard enough for politicians who build their careers on face-to-face interactions. But campaigning with COVID-19 is even more difficult, a state Senate candidate learned.

Linda Patterson, a retired high school principal and one of two Democrats vying for the chance to challenge sitting Republican Sen. Vince Leach, was diagnosed in the first week of April with COVID-19 by her physicians, though she has been unable to obtain an official test.

Suddenly, Patterson’s focus shifted from campaigning to battling a disease that feels bearable some days and lays her low on others. Instead of campaign updates, she’s sharing daily updates on COVID-19 with her supporters.

“Yesterday I was feeling pretty good, and today I wake up and it’s feeling pretty challenging,” Patterson said April 13.

“I try to keep a stiff upper lip laced with a lot of positive energy. I’m going to get through this.”

Patterson assumes she contracted the disease during a long weekend of campaign events before the state shut down. After a few weeks of feeling mildly under the weather, Patterson’s symptoms worsened and her doctors began talking about it possibly being coronavirus.

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