University of Alabama graduate tells his COVID-19 story

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous video attached to this story used file footage of Below the Radar restaurant in Huntsville. The following story has no connection to the restaurant. The video has been edited to prevent further confusion. We apologize for the error.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - University of Alabama graduate Dillon Friday says he brushed off the coronavirus since it began. As a healthy 22-year-old, he thought the chances of catching covid and having bad symptoms were slim.

But that all changed after a weekend out on the town.

“The first week in June me and some of my friends went down to Tuscaloosa just to visit some people and we ended up going to a bar. There wasn’t really much social distancing practicing going on. I was kind of nervous then but thought I’d be fine,” Friday said.

After that weekend bar hopping in Tuscaloosa, Friday came back with COVID-19 symptoms.

“I got home Sunday and felt fine. Monday I woke up and I was kind of having some stomach pains but I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. And then Wednesday I started having really bad chest pains,” Friday said.

The next day Friday found out one of his friend's he had been with that weekend tested positive for COVID-19.

He immediately went to the fever and flu clinic on Governors drive to get tested himself. A week later Friday says his results came back positive for COVID-19.

“I got tested on a Friday and didn’t get my results back until Wednesday. So I was self-quarantining that whole time,” Friday said.

During the waiting period, Friday says his symptoms were brutal. He experienced everything from fatigue and lack of focus to dry cough and stiff chest. That lasted for about five days.

“For the last week I had lingering symptoms. There was a day I lost my taste and smell,” Friday said.

Friday says he still gets slightly winded doing minor activities and sometimes worries about long term lung damage. His mindset about COVID-19 is now reversed.

He recently shared his story on Facebook, urging his friends to take the virus seriously.

“I selfishly thought for the longest time that this virus was blown out of proportion and that I was invisible to it. It took actually having it to bring awareness to myself, my friends, and my family,” Friday wrote.