Health & Fitness

15 days 102 fever, a cracked tooth from chattering – ex-NYSE boss shares his Covid ordeal


Tom Farley, former president of the New York Stock Exchange, gave a detailed account of his fight against Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic on Friday and told CNBC, "It was not a good time in my life."

"I had a fever of 102 to 103.5 degrees for 15 days and then couldn't get up for another week. I lost about 25 pounds," said Farley, who is in his 40s. Squawk box. "

"I looked like Skeletor, cracked a tooth while I was rattling. I felt like someone was going to put a sledgehammer on my back," he added, referring to the Mattel supervillain from the Masters of the Universe franchise .

Farley, who oversaw the NYSE from 2014 to 2018, said he had his "bad case" of Covid-19 in March.

At the time, he said his special-purpose acquisition company was in the process of closing a deal with a merger objective as uncertainty caused by the looming pandemic unsettled global financial markets.

"It was right at the point when the S&P seemed to be down 5% a day," said Farley, whose first SPAC completed its merger with Global Blue, a Swiss fintech company, in August. Today he is the company's chairman.

"My brain didn't shoot. I was physically exhausted. It wasn't a good time in my life," Farley said. "That 23rd day I woke up and yes I was weak, but I felt better and I felt hopeful and optimistic and I started getting into a workout routine."

According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 65.3 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus since it first appeared in Wuhan, China, almost a year ago. At least 1,509,141 people have died of Covid-19 worldwide.

In the US, there have been more than 14 million confirmed cases and at least 276,401 deaths, according to Hopkins. The nation is in the middle of its third spike in Covid-19, with new daily cases and deaths and recent hospitalizations.

Farley's experience with Covid-19 exemplifies the unpredictable nature of the novel coronavirus, which sometimes only leads to an asymptomatic infection and sometimes to months of persistent symptoms.

Despite the severity of his illness, Farley admitted that he was lucky enough to recover. "I almost feel guilty when I talk about it, considering how many people have died."

Farley's appearance on CNBC Friday comes after its second blank check company, Far Peak Acquisition, announced pricing for its $ 550 million initial public offering. It started trading on the NYSE this week.


Katherine Clark