‘This is not a joke’ Las Vegas man describes battle with COVID-19

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — James Healy knew even before he got the phone call confirming he had coronavirus, that something wasn’t right.

“From the time that I woke up until maybe four hours later, I was two different people. It literally was like a dark shadow. I could feel the shadow coming over me,” Healy said.

As a hotel and casino manager who works on the Las Vegas Stirp, Healy is around a lot of people. He began calling co-workers and telling them to self-quarantine and says he couldn’t believe how quickly his body was caving.

“The achiness became just like literally, pulling me down. The headaches started to get a lot worse. The congestion started to get a lot worse and by one o’clock I was done. I didn’t even have the energy to make a phone call. i went to bed and then from there, about a week, I slept 12 hours a day.”

His partner Richie immediately got tested. It took six days for the results and he was positive too but never got sick.

“Not a sniffle, not a cough and thank goodness because that’s what I was worried about. And, you know, because everybody’s different,” Healy said.

While Healy never had a fever, his other symptoms dragged on and he stayed COVID-positive for 31 days. He says he was fortunate he never had to go the hospital.

“I kept my phone in my hand , even when I slept because I was afraid that if I went to sleep and started having breathing problems what would I do,” he said. “You know, you’re seeing all of these things happening around you, of course, your home for, you know, ever. So, you’re watching every news story, every breaking heart story there is and it plays a real psychological game with you.”

Healy is now back at work and says he is more vigilant than ever about practicing social distancing with co-workers and customers because the cost of not being responsible is too high.

“I’m very conscious and this goes totally against what we are taught in hospitality. We’re all about smiles. We’re all about connectivity. We’re all about hospitality and those things are completely changed now in our world,” Healy said. “I guess my personal message would be to everybody that this is not a joke. You know people all around us are are dying. People’s jobs are gone. Industries are gone, you know, and it’s it’s really tough.”

Healy is still suffering with headaches and says it’s unfortunate that some casino guests disagree with following the state directive to wear a face mask. He said he doesn’t hesitate to ask them to leave or have them escorted off the property for the sake of others.

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