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Allen: ‘I was not going to let the virus defeat me’

Calvin Allen, an employee with the City of Troy, was the second person in Pike County to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

He has no idea how he contracted the potentially deadly virus or when.

What Allen does know is that the coronavirus gave him the biggest challenge of his life and his hope and his prayers are that no others will have to battle COVID-19.

“The time came for me to just lay back and give it to the Lord and He brought me through,” Allen said.

Although Allen was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 26, he believes that an earlier diagnosis of bronchitis was actually COVID-19.

“I was having shortness of breath and just a hard time breathing,” he said. “I was tested for the virus three times. The first two times the tests were negative but the third time, it was positive.

Allen’s friend also tested positive for the virus but never displayed any symptoms. His mom tested negative. One of his coworkers with the city also tested positive.

“I was quarantined at home and was doing okay but the virus turned on me,” Allen said. “I started coughing and couldn’t stop. Then, it got where I couldn’t get my breath. I was gagging for air. I didn’t know if I would make it.”

Allen was taken to the hospital and was in ICU for a short time and released the next afternoon.

Allen knew he had a tough battle to fight and it had to be fought in isolation.

“I don’t know how to say how scared I was. When you can’t get air, you think you are going to die,” he said. “You think about your kids and you know they are worried about you and what if you don’t see them again.”

The struggle to breathe, the loss of appetite, the loneliness of isolation began to take a toll on Allen. He found himself just lying on the bed unable to move and had no desire to even try.

Allen prayed for his struggle to pass. His prayers were answered.

“God gave me the strength to finally get out of bed and I decided I was not going to let the virus defeat me,” Allen said.

Although Allen is not yet ready to return to work, he is getting stronger each day. But, he is keenly aware that COVID-19 has not gone away and may be around for the long haul.

So, he has words of caution for those who doubt the seriousness of COVID-19.

“The coronavirus is no joke,” Allen said. “It’s a rough ride and you don’t want to take it. So, stay at home; wash your hands; wear gloves; wear a mask; do whatever you have to do to stay away from the virus.”

Allen said many people have the coronavirus and don’t even know it. Many others have overcome COVID-19, some with relative ease and some with major difficulties. Far too many have died.

“The coronavirus is still out there so don’t take a chance,” Allen said. “Just stay at home. It’s a lot better than being sick or not being here at all.