Now recovered, cosmetic dermatologist, chief medical officer and founder of the PFRANKMD brand Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank shares his personal COVID-19 journey—and a page from his new book that centers on the healing power of positivity.
"After being a direct victim for two terrifying weeks with COVID-19, my priorities dramatically shifted from common concerns of family business and personal chores to a dire state of regaining my health and my strength,” shares Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank. Instead of the usual feed of cosmetic treatments and procedures, Frank’s Instagram profile became a resource for so many to learn more about the virus as he shared his firsthand account in real time. “I first became inspired when I realized I had turned the corner with my illness,” he shares. “My fever had broken at day 12, and my breathing difficulties started to improve. I knew then that the most integral part of my recovery was to help in any way I could.”
Frank’s desire to help did not stop with sharing his personal journey. “As a victim of COVID-19, now healthy with a negative test, my next priority was to do whatever I could to help those who are in the battle, including donating my blood,” he says, noting that he also donated any items he could from his medical office. “Mount Sinai hospital is my affiliated medical center and who I am working with directly. In addition, engaging my social media audience allowed me as a physician and a victim to provide a steady stream of information for people.”
Frank says the days are passing surprisingly quickly thanks to his nonstop efforts to help the relief cause. “It is part of my recovery process physically and mentally to stay active and do whatever I can.” As for others who want to help? Frank advises the most helpful thing one can do is simply stay home. “If people do nothing else other than stay home and minimize contact with anyone other than those who live in their household, they are active and valuable participants in the battle. If we all pretend we are infected, it’s better than all worrying about getting infected. It’s not just about playing defense, it’s also about playing offense and protecting people on the outside.” Frank believes a positive approach to recovery is key. “In my book, The Pro-Aging Playbook ($27, Post Hill Press), I outline how our perspective and proactive behavior can optimize the aging process—the same rings true with any challenge in life, including the one at hand.”
Frank is changed by his experience and imagines the world is changed as well. “My expectations are that people may appreciate more the gifts of life that were right in front of them the whole time,” he says. “Like tragedies that fell before us in the past, clearly these challenges will make us stronger. Rebuilding our healthcare infrastructure, regaining strength in commerce, showing gratitude to those who fought the battle on the front line, and the appreciation for the socially interactive hustle and bustle that New York is known for will persevere.”
Photography by: Curtesy of Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank