The Face of COVID-19

January 4, 2022

Renowned dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank documents his recovery from the coronavirus

This article was originally published on the Access+ portal for ByrdAdatto Access+ members.   Enjoy this free access to learn about Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank’s story.

Founder of PFRANKMD, his eponymous aesthetic healthcare brand and medical practice based in Manhattan, Frank is used to giving skincare, wellness and exercise advice to his patients and social media following. Over the past couple of months, however, his Instagram feed evolved into an entirely different set of stories.

The last two weeks have been the most challenging, physically and emotionally, of my life. It was nothing short of terrifying at times,” Frank said in his first post-COVID update on Instagram, 15-days after his initial symptoms. “I’m judging my life now based on paces walked, rather than workouts completed. This is not like recovering from the average flu.”

Soon after he got through the worst of the virus, Frank made it his mission to be a resource for others, not only as doctor, but as beacon of hope for those in the throes of COVID-19. From beginning to end, Frank had fever for 12 days total. Like many others with no pre-existing conditions, Frank experienced the virus in two distinct waves. “I had no breathing problems the first week, just fever, chills and headaches. {It was} almost all things you recognize, even though it’s torture,” he said. He took a Z-Pack early on and put himself on a steady rotation of both Advil and Tylenol to alleviate the fever and body aches.

While his temperature hovered around 103.5 for the first few days, by the end of the first week it began to dissipate. He thought he was through the worst of it. But according to Frank, that was just the quiet before the storm. “It was really like day seven that the breathing and coughing started,” he said of the respiratory symptoms. The second week had hit, and for Frank, it was both frightening and lonely.

 “I was just afraid, period. It’s scary when there’s not a doctor out there telling you this is what you do for COVID-19, just like this is what you do for flu or pneumonia. We have these expectations that people are going to give us answers and its really scary when you can’t get them,” he said.

Being a doctor himself, however, and having an accredited surgical facility allowed Frank access to oxygen tanks, nebulizers and medicine that he needed. Without that, Frank believes, he would have been hospitalized. “I used oxygen tanks throughout the day and night for about three days. Those were the darkest of times,” Frank said. “The nebulizers were really amazing as well.” 

Although Frank never lost his sense of smell and taste, he did experience blurry vision and hearing issues over the course of the virus. “It affects the nervous system and it could affect any aspect of it. Different people have different symptoms in terms of the senses,” he said. “There’s no typical anything here.”

One standard everyone can agree on about COVID, however, is isolation for the patient. “It’s not just about playing defense, it’s about playing offense and protecting people on the outside.” Frank didn’t see his family for over 16 days, even though he relied on his wife for his most essential needs, like food.

 “My lovely wife Diane has been my lifesaver,” he said. And with some thoughtful protective measures in place, she and the rest of the family remained healthy. “When she came anywhere close to the room, she wore an N95 and gloves. When I was done with food and things, I put it in a garbage bag and she would come with gloves and put it in a separate clean bag.”

Once Frank was on the mend, he knew not to expect too much too quickly. “I thought I was a super strong person and this is not an easy recovery,” he said. “And I don’t take for granted the days and hours that go by that I am healthy.”

Convalescence for Frank meant taking it slow, practicing breathing exercises to strengthen his respiratory system, and consuming a calorie dense diet after losing ten pounds over the course of the virus. In fact, he recommends high caloric drinks like Gatorade and even ice cream throughout the illness. “You’re drenched in sweat and losing a lot of fluid,” he said. “Anything that has sugar and calories and can be hydrating, hydration is key.”

To be prepared for COVID, Frank suggests planning ahead, addressing logistics first, such as designating quarantine space in the home separate from your loved ones. For those who live alone, he suggests setting up a buddy system with the promise to drop off food and necessities for one another in the event one gets sick. “We have to take care of each other,” he said.

According to Frank, necessary items to have at home include Tylenol for the fever, a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen in your system, thermometer, and plenty of electrolytes and caloric hydration. In cases of respiratory symptoms, he suggests having a doctor write a prescription for a nebulizer. Supplements such as vitamins C, D and zinc may also be necessary to compensate for nutritional needs that may otherwise be lacking while sick.

Most importantly, he stresses, make mental wellbeing a priority. “I listened a lot to music and people who inspire me like Deepak Chopra. I did everything I could to keep positive vibes in my life.”

Eighteen days post his initial symptoms, Frank tested negative for COVID-19. “I am confident now that I won’t be an immediate danger to those around me. But I am still taking precautions,” he said on Instagram, also warning against relying solely on testing. “Up to 40% are false negatives,” he said. “If you don’t feel well assume you have COVID.”

As life transitions to a new normal and Frank has made the full recovery, his messaging on health, wellness, and now the coronavirus is stronger than ever. He continues to update his Instagram feed (@drpauljarrodfrank) with resources on COVID, as well as tips to feel and look good during and post-pandemic. Frank’s office is open again, albeit under a new set of guidelines, and while it may be different, Frank’s passion remains unchanged.

“There’s one thing I know will never change, and that is everyone’s desire to feel well, to look well and to be the best versions of themselves,” he said.  “And I’m still going to be here to help us all with that.”

At ByrdAdatto we are working hard to ensure our clients are well equipped and ready for operating their business. If you have questions regarding this article, reach out to

ByrdAdatto founding partner Michael Byrd

Michael S. Byrd

As the son of a doctor and entrepreneur, ByrdAdatto attorney Michael S. Byrd has a personal connection to both business and medicine.

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