Yankton lawmaker Stevens shares experience with COVID-19: ‘I couldn’t wish this on my worst enemy’

Coronavirus

YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) — The number of active cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota continues to rise; according to the latest statistics from the South Dakota Department of Health, there are now 3,032 active cases across the state and 89 hospitalizations.

Mike Stevens of Yankton served in the South Dakota state legislature between 2013 and 2018, and he’s going to do so again this January. On July 27 he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

“It felt like kind of a ton of bricks had hit me,” Stevens said. “I was running, I run a temperature for about two weeks between 100 and 103. I completely lost my appetite, and I lost 10 pounds just very, very quickly. I really had no energy at all, I slept all the time, personally every part of my body ached, and so it was really hard to sleep.”

He was hospitalized for four days because of COVID-19.

“It’s real, and it’s very, very serious,” Stevens said. “And I think South Dakota’s been very fortunate because we are a sparse, agricultural state that, we may not have run into some of the issues some of the more populous states are.”

But when there is a case, it can be bad.

“I couldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, what I went through. It’s that terrible,” Stevens said. “And so, I kind of look at it as a situation where, if I can do something as simple as wearing a mask, social distancing, doing those things that I can keep my friends and my family and those people that I lived with in my own community have one less chance of getting the COVID, I’m going to do it.”

His health has been steadily improving. But he stresses the seriousness of the disease.

“Anybody who thinks that this is a hoax, you can give them my name and number, and we can chat about it because it certainly isn’t that at all,” Stevens said.


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