Local real estate broker Steven Dowell announced Friday that he is one of the several Pulaski countians who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. He said that while he was doing better, he had one day where he could not talk and practically slept all day.
“I expect a full recovery,” he said in a video posted to Facebook.
Dowell, the broker of Realty World Dowell & Associates, said he had been self-quarantining at home since before he began showing symptoms. He was diagnosed Thursday as having both coronavirus and pneumonia.
He said the pneumonia diagnosis was separate from the COVID virus, and he didn’t know if COVID was the reason for the pneumonia.
“It took a while for me to convince anyone I needed tested,” he said.
He said he was tested Tuesday, and didn’t get the results until Thursday.
“I had of course developed symptoms by then,” he said.
“Finally, the health department referred me to Fast Pace [Urgent Care]. I know the governor said testing would be free – it wasn’t. Fast Pace referred me to the ER immediately due to the pneumonia. The test is a swab of the nose and it is extremely painful,” he said.
He is continuing to recuperate at home.
Dowell said he attended church with a woman who was diagnosed last week. Of Pulaski’s total eight cases, officials have said seven have been linked to a single exposure at that March 15 church service.
“If you go to church with me, I believe that you need to be self-quarantined at this point,” Dowell said.
“… I don’t think anyone needs to be out that goes to the church that I go to. There’s been too many people diagnosed with it. It’s rough. I’ve never been this sick before.”
He said he went under quarantine as soon as the first person was announced, which was before he showed any symptoms.
At the time, he wasn’t concerned about getting the virus, but was afraid he might be a carrier of it.
He described his symptoms as having shortness of breath or being winded, sometimes coughing horribly. He was running a mild fever and had a lack of appetite.
Although living alone, Dowell said that has kept in contact with friends and family, as well as with a health department official that checks in with him daily.
He has kept up with his work as well, posting about real estate listings through Facebook.
“Real estate never stops, that is for sure!” he said. “Just trying to do all I can to help our agents be successful. As their broker, that is my first priority.”
At the same time, he is trying to get the word out that people need to follow the social distancing practices outlined by officials.
“This is real. The longer we keep acting as though it doesn’t exist, the longer we will have to deal with this, and the more people that will suffer and possibly die,” he said.
“Use ClickList and Instacart. Stay out of the stores!!!! Order online. Follow the guidelines for everyone’s sake,” he said.