Dee Davis is a healthy Tampa-born veteran who served three years in the U.S. Army.
“I’m a healthy guy, who abided by the mask mandate,” said Davis.
However, Davis spent Veterans Day in a Florida hospital, fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 and then pneumonia.
“I’ve never been this sick for this long in my life,” he told Atlanta Black Star. “I pray that I wake up in the morning; it’s scary.”
He started experiencing symptoms at the top of November, and was hospitalized within days.
“It started with a small sniffle and sneeze; a light headache. I thought it was just allergies,” he explained.
Davis knew something was wrong the first day he started having symptoms. He went to the doctor to get a COVID-19 test but the facility told him they were booked up on walk-ins and he needed to come back the next day.
“I went back the next day to take a COVID test that gets your results back in 20 minutes,” said Davis. “I tested positive and since then it has gotten progressively worse.”
Davis added that he spent the next four days at home, until the pain worsened.
“It got worse and so I had to come back but through the ER. I was admitted and have been in the hospital now for almost a week.”
Davis said he hasn’t been out much over the last six months due to the state’s pandemic lockdown, but when Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened bars, restaurants and other recreational businesses throughout the state of Florida in September, he took advantage of the opportunity to hang out.
“I can only breathe at 80 percent so they hooked me up to these machines,” he explained.
The state of Florida has seen over 800,000 COVID-19 cases, according to state health data, while the nation as a whole has recorded just over 10 million cases.
Davis said he doesn’t know how or where he got the virus, but what he does know is the havoc it’s wreaking on his body: severe headaches, body aches, fever and shortness of breath. He said his symptoms are getting progressively worse each day.
“The hardest symptoms were the headaches,” he said. “If I had to describe it, it would be like a sledgehammer hitting my head all day. There’s the chills, fever, loss of taste and being too weak to get around on my own.
According to the CDC, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, everyone should wash their hands often, avoid close contact with people who are sick, practice social distancing and wear a mask when around others.
Davis, who contracted the virus at the top of November and remained in the hospital at the time of this report, also has a bit of advice to share. “Take it seriously. I’m now in the hospital trying to beat pneumonia on top of still having COVID.”