Young, fit and sick: Columbus man recovering from coronavirus shares warning

(Photo courtesy: Justin Swain)

Even the young, healthy and fit are not immune to this virus.

That's the message a 34-year-old Justin Swain from Columbus is sharing.

He admits he may not have taken the threat so seriously in the beginning.

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He's urging other young people not to make the same mistake.

Swain isn't one to sit still.

"I consider myself to be a very active 34-year-old," he said. "I play volleyball three times a week in sand leagues and indoor leagues. I work out, I cycle three times a week."

But for the last month, he's had no choice.

"I was at work on March 3rd, and I just remember feeling just really run-down like I was hit by a bus," he said. "Started with body aches. Ended up going home and taking some Ibuprofen and laying down. I remember waking up around 9 or 10 o'clock with chills, body aches had a fever at that point."

After a series of doctor and hospital visits, he was first diagnosed with the flu and pneumonia, and later coronavirus.

After the shock, came the worry about who he might have unknowingly exposed.

"Knowing how insidious this virus is, and how really it can be passed so easily, I was trying to think of everybody that I had contact with. Certainly worried that the EMTs that came to my house weren't wearing masks, the pharmacists that I interacted with weren't wearing masks," he said.

He says this virus is like nothing he's ever experienced.

(Photo courtesy: Justin Swain)

"The fact that I couldn't even stand up off the couch without feeling like I had to sit back down, was really scary. And on top of that, you have the anxiety of, am I going to get worse? Am I going to get better?" he said.

Today, he is better.

And wiser.

"I probably didn't take this as seriously as I should have in the beginning," he said. "The people I want to share this with the most are people like me — people who are in their 30's, active, otherwise consider themselves healthy. I would just say, you're not invincible. As much as you think you might be."

The Ohio Department of Health has multiple resources regarding COVID-19. To learn more about those resources, including social distancing, click here.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 35,408 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 2,148 people have died from the virus and 6,413 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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