‘Take it seriously and do the right things;’ State and local leaders warn others after surviving COVID-19

Mississippi leaders survive COVID-19

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Local and state leaders are sharing their story after surviving COVID-19.

“I do not want that again. I do not want that experience again.”

Devante Johnson is the Ward 3 selectman for the city of McComb. The 24-year-old says his age and his position couldn’t stop him from contracting the invisible disease known as COVID-19.

“You feel every bit of it and you have to work your way through it. As young as I am and as healthy as I am I didn’t think it would have that type of toll on me.”

He says he experienced nausea, a pounding headache and other issues.

“Just the body aches and at times that you feel like you are suffocating.”

“It is a little fearful at first because you see the news and issues with other people,” said Representative Ronnie Crudup Jr. District 71.

Rep. Ronnie Crudup Jr. was one of at least 26 state lawmakers who were diagnosed with the coronavirus back in June.

“I could have contracted from the Capitol, maybe a restaurant because I went out to eat a couple of times, and even from not wearing a mask properly like I should have. I called my doctor and he told me things I should do, and I was going to be okay. He told me to do my normal routines like exercising, taking vitamins but it was a little fear in me”

Both men agree that it was a nightmare having COVID-19. They say the symptoms were one thing, but the isolation made it worse.

“It was miserable. I had a sleep away from my family for 14 days. Just being away from my family like that was heartbreaking and my children seeing me and couldn’t hug me, so that was pretty heartbreaking.”

“I have never been in the house 17 days straight, so I mean that was difficult. That was depressing in itself because I watched every movie that I think I wanted to watch. My family was great and they made sure I had a hot meal and dropped off different care packages,” said Johnson.

Both leaders say they are blessed they have recovered from the virus and they hope others take it seriously.

“No one knows the ins and outs of the virus, so don’t take your guard down because it is still an invisible enemy. It is real. I don’t care how much money you have, how healthy you are, I don’t care what your position or status you have. You are not exempt from COVID-19,” said Johnson.

“Take it seriously and do the right things. You need to do to make sure you keep yourself safe and healthy. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and make sure you’re six feet apart to make so we can get these numbers back down,” said Crudup.

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