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Andes Mountain Top to Tennessee Valley

Photograph of 2 men with large reptile on path, Galapagos IslandsOne week you’re climbing up to Machu Picchu. The next, you can barely climb out of bed. This was Jim Froula’s experience with COVID-19.

Froula (BS/ME ’67, MS/ME ’68), age 74, woke up to a near-constant cough. He and his partner, Mary Coffey, had just returned on March 16 from Peru and Ecuador. They were exploring the Galapagos when their travel company informed their group of 30 that Ecuador, now facing Coronavirus concerns, would close its borders within 24 hours. The day after a harried journey home, Froula’s cough was quickly succeeded by fever, severe lethargy, and shortness of breath—all tell-tale signs of the virus.