Initially skeptical, COVID-19 survivor warns others to take 'extremely scary' virus seriously

Attitudes towards the coronavirus pandemic have varied wildly. Some are taking it seriously; others, less so.

“I thought it would only affect people with underlying conditions, the elderly. I didn’t believe it,” said Tampa’s Jenny Castro.

But Castro has changed her thinking, big time. It started after she became infected with COVID-19, likely on June 12 at a Tampa bar. 

She didn’t have a mask on, and they weren’t they required at that time. 

A week later on June 19, she’d be among 4,000 other people in Florida to test positive.

“It was the worst experience of my life,” Castro said. “I had chills body aches muscle spasms, nausea, coughing, couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone was putting extreme pressure on my chest,” she recalled.

RELATED: Nearly 10,000 new Florida coronavirus cases reported Wednesday; 48 new deaths

Castro, a mother of three, spent a week in the hospital. She was even put on oxygen. 

“Extremely scary, it’s beyond any words I can ever describe,” she continued.

The good news is she’s doing much better now and she’s tested negative. She’s talking about all this in hopes of warning others who may still be underestimating COVID-19.  

”My message to other people is: It’s here, it’s real, and it affects everybody in different degrees,” she said. “If this didn’t change me, I don’t know what will. It changed me,” she told FOX 13.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

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