Paul Farberman: A Covid Survivor

About: I started my career as an entertainment lawyer in Toronto and then joined CBS Records Canada.  I subsequently moved to Los Angeles where I held senior positions with IRS Records, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox before joining Rene Angélil as part of the management team for Celine Dion.

I am presently managing the Artist “Snow” as well as the Korean American Artist “Ailee” as well as providing consulting services to recording artists, songwriters, producers, and various companies including Moonlake Entertainment–a film production company in Salzburg Austria, and Rococo, a ticketing and tech company in Tokyo. Additionally, for the past 5 years, I have worked with Ken Ehrlich on The Grammy Awards and tribute shows to Motown, Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Elvis Presley, Quincy Jones, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles and Prince. Contact:

I was in Toronto at the end of February and then travelled to London. At that time, nobody in London was really concerned about the virus.

It was life as usual with people working, shopping, going to the theatre, concerts, restaurants and playing in the parks and I did not see anybody wearing a mask. I had a number of meetings in London and then was planning to go to Dubai where meetings had been arranged with senior government officials and leading marketing and production people to finalize arrangements for an important project I was working on with my associates in London.

However, we were beginning to feel uneasy about going to Dubai as more news was reported about the virus in Europe. The day before we were scheduled to fly to Dubai we called the people who we were scheduled to meet to ask how the virus was affecting life in Dubai and we were told not to worry. However, we decided it would be better to not take any chances and we decided not to go to Dubai and I flew home to Los Angeles on March 2.

Five days later, on Saturday, March 7, I became so completely physically exhausted, I had no appetite, which was unusual for me, and I had a fever. I was not coughing and had no pain or discomfort in my chest or anywhere else. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I was certainly not thinking that I might have the coronavirus. I felt worse on Sunday and went to see my doctor on Monday. After a chest x-ray, blood work and a battery of other tests, I was given a prescription and told the doctor would call me with the test results and I went home.  The next day, the doctor called and told me to stop taking the medication that she had just given me the day before and that I should immediately go to the Emergency Department and get a CAT scan. I didn't even ask what she had seen in the test results and I immediately went to the hospital. The CAT scan showed that I had pneumonia and I was admitted but I was still not tested for the coronavirus. 

It was two days later while in the hospital that I finally was tested and it took three days before I received the results that I was positive for covid-19. I was in total shock and disbelief. There is no way I could possibly be one of those statistics in the news! I was moved immediately from the intensive care unit to a critical care unit where only coronavirus patients were being treated. My breathing was laboured and heavy and I was treated with an ongoing oxygen supply. 

I had a bad fever, trouble breathing normally and really don’t remember too much while lying in the bed with wires on my body to check my heart, hooked up to intravenous and oxygen, taking certain medication and really being able to get much sleep. I do remember seeing that every time a doctor or nurse came into my room wearing long gowns, masks and facial guards, they immediately took off their gowns and threw them right in the garbage when they left my room.

I stayed in that hospital for a week. I was sent home in an ambulance and was required to be on oxygen for 24 hours a day for about another week. I am no longer on oxygen and breathing normally. While it was a very, very tough few weeks, I am happy to say I am feeling better than ever and I have a new appreciation of life.

I am lucky that I was already in the hospital being treated for pneumonia when they found out that I had the coronavirus. I am lucky that I was there in early March before the number of cases began to increase dramatically. I am lucky to have been treated by such truly caring and compassionate doctors and other medical staff. I can never show them enough appreciation. My sincere heartfelt gratitude goes out to the doctors, nurses and all the hospital staff who worked tirelessly, risking their lives to save ours.

While I was in the hospital and for the first three weeks that I was home, I made a conscious decision not to watch any news or read any information that would bring any negativity into my life. While I am feeling well physically, my sense of smell and taste has not fully returned. I still have some very emotional days where I cry, overwhelmed by what I see on the news and realizing how fortunate I am to be enjoying life.

It is absolutely critical for everyone to listen to all the doctors and scientists who are doing their jobs over and above the call of duty. Listen to them. They are telling you the facts and the truth.

Believe me, you don’t want this virus.

It’s sad and unfortunate that because of the misinformation of what was going on in February and early March, people just did not take this situation seriously. Now, with all the reported cases of people with the virus and all the tragic deaths, most people are wearing masks, practicing social distancing and listening to what the experts say. But we cannot relax. This problem is more serious than ever. 

Every citizen on the planet must do their part to ensure the virus does not continue to spread.

Editors Note: FYI encourages submissions with opinions or thoughts on the state of affairs in our industry in these troubled times. Please submit to Please use 'Submission' in the subject line. 

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