HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Like many other people, 22-year-old John Mark Morris was living life as usual amid the pandemic.
“I was going to the gym, going to restaurants, going to The Casual Pint and grabbing a nice beer with some friends. Just really basic things and sometimes even shaking hands,” Morris said. “Sometimes I wasn’t wearing a mask if they didn’t require you to wear a mask.”
Morris said one of the precautions that he took was avoiding being around older people, who he thought could be more at risk.
After a friend tested positive, he went to get tested just in case he had been exposed to the virus.
“I really didn’t think that I was going to be the person that got the coronavirus,” he said.
After his test results came back positive, Morris said it changed his perspective about taking precautions, social distancing, and wearing a mask in public.
“Then my mindset really changed, once I got it,” said Morris.
Morris added that he didn’t experience any symptoms until a week after he tested positive.
“I could breathe completely fine through my nose but I couldn’t taste or smell, it was like eating texture, it was weird.”
Experts from Huntsville Hospital said asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 are common, also adding that young people need to take more precautions.
“That’s where we have to understand, you will be asymptomatic for a week, but after 7-10 days is then when you get sick,” said Director of Critical Services at Huntsville Hospital, Doctor Prithvi Kukkadapu.
“So that window is when people think that they’re not sick and they just move around and you asymptomatically start spreading the infection,” said Dr. Kukkadapu.
Dr. Kukkadapu said he sees severe cases of the virus.
“I want people to understand that there are very simple measures in place to prevent this,” said Dr. Kukkadapu.
Morris said he now takes preventable measures seriously.
“I do feel a little bit bad because I could have spread it to someone else,” said Morris.
After spending 14 days in quarantine, Morris said he tested negative and he plans to donate plasma to hopefully help others who are fighting the virus.