Ray Benson, the frontman for the Grammy-winning country band Asleep at the Wheel, announced his coronavirus diagnosis on Tuesday. Now the 69-year-old is opening up about his experience with the virus and how difficult it was to get tested.
"I got a call Tuesday morning saying I tested positive! Luckily for me nothing has progressed any farther and feel very lucky and optimistic about my current situation," the musician said. "I am still very fatigued/dizzy and in bed for now. Doctor says if nothing further comes up like elevated temperature, respiratory, cough etc., I should be in the clear in the coming weeks."
Benson said that they tested for everything else before they would give him a COVID-19 test.
"It took basically testing for everything else to acquire a COVID 19 test," he said. "Luckily, I wasn’t around that many people within this time frame and was practicing the standard things like washing your hands/sanitizer, wearing a mask at the doctors, keeping proper distance etc.. So I’d like everyone to know the 'symptoms' that are out there as ways to know if you have it or don’t have the virus, doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. They didn’t for me!"
He's also urging people to take this virus seriously and follow guidance from health officials.
"It’s for real," the statement continued. "Please follow the safety guidelines out there. If you think or subscribe to those folks whose opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! Please send your thoughts and prayers out there to all the wonderful people putting their health and their families at risk defending ours. We all know someone or somebody who has lost their life to this virus and we have lots of folks currently fighting the virus and their families need your thoughts and prayers as well."
Heath officials are urging people to remain in their homes as much as possible and avoid all social gatherings. Additionally, the CDC has issued some tips for helping to avoid contracting the disease.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.