For a couple of days, Joe Pounds could feel his body trying to fight off something.
He wasn’t sure what was happening.
A few more days went by, and he got confirmation of his worst fears.
Pounds’ wife, Talya, got the call from her job that the coronavirus was spreading in the nursing home where she worked.
After testing positive for the novel infection, she and Joe quarantined themselves.
The Pounds knew there was a chance they could contract the virus because they are both frontline workers. Joe is a deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Talya is a nurse in a nursing home.
While they took plenty of precautionary measures at home, they still tested positive for COVID-19.
As Talya started to recover within four days, Joe’s sickness began.
Talya’s symptoms ranged from no smell or taste.
Joe’s were more severe. He never had shortness of breath, but the pain, especially the headaches and body aches, were unbearable.
He couldn’t sleep.
“Sometimes I would just walk the floor if I could,” said Joe, who missed 30 days from work with the illness. “Your mind starts to wonder. It’s the anxiety that really gets to you.”
After days without sleeping, he was finally taken to the emergency room.
The only thing the ER staff could do was give him some medicine to help him sleep. After waking up a few hours later, he was sent home.
“There was nothing they could really do,” Joe said. “I didn’t have the shortness of breath.”
He credits Talya’s medical background as being a big plus in his recovery.
Joe’s temperature went between 99-103 degrees.
“I was hot and cold at the same time,” he said. “There were a couple times that I felt like dying. It just plays on your mind and you are in pain.”
He has had the flu, but this was worse.
“I was in a lot of pain, but I didn’t really want her to see it,” Joe said. “I didn’t want her to worry. I tried to hide it.”
As cases in Georgia and around the country begin to spike, Joe and Talya warn people to take it serious. There are currently 843 confirmed cases in the county with 36 total deaths since the pandemic begun.
Talya had seen many patients in her Fulton County nursing home contract COVID-19, and some died.
However, the pain of watching her husband go through it was the scariest part for her.
“As far as watching my husband go through it, it was tough,” Talya said. “He was trying to fight it off. This thing is real, and people have to take it serious.”