WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Restaurant owner Derrick McCray says though he was wearing a mask, he touched his face after shaking hands with someone. He felt sick soon thereafter and says he tested positive for COVID-19.
"And I think that's what I did. I touched my nose or did something weird after I shook his hand. It had me restricted to the bed. I could hardly move. The pain was immense. The headaches, the chills, it was horrible, demonic," he said.
As a precaution, he says he temporarily closed the McCray's Backyard BBQ and Seafood restaurant on June 20th.
Meanwhile all 20 employees were tested. All came back negative.
The restaurant reopened the 4th of July weekend.
"We had guys in the hazmat suit to come through and doing some intense cleaning for safety purposes. We were doing them anyway but beefed it up a little bit more following the CDC standards," McCray said.
He thinks he was able to get through the toughest part of recovery because of a decision to lose weight six years ago. "I was more concerned about my lungs not holding up through this experience. I think me working out 3 to 4 to 5 days a week basis helped my lungs to be stronger," he said.
He says he recently tested negative for the virus. During this recovery at home from the virus, he says he relied on infectious disease expert Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi.
"What I pretty much helped him with is understanding what to expect, what he can do, how to empower himself . This disease does have up and down syndrome so to speak. Some days you feel better then another day you feel worse," Dr. Osiyemi said. The doctor's advice: "I think they need to reach out and call their doctor. Because you need to know when you need to go to the hospital. Sometimes people wait too long and when they get to us, they end up in the ICU."
McCray says, "We need to take this thing seriously, you know, it's nothing to play with. I ride through the community sometimes and I see people without masks hugging and shaking hands and doing all of this stuff as if it's still normal, but this is not a normal time."