COVID survivor urges people to get vaccinated

Health

SANGAMON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Bill Jones tested positive for COVID in November, and his life has not been the same since.

“I can’t do what I want to do. I can’t go fishing. I can’t work in my pool. I can’t even take my dog for a walk,” Jones sand.

Jones is on his 6th straight month of respiratory therapy, doctors visits and constant testing. The virus hit him quick, but the effects are lasting.

“November 20th–deer season–I walked half a mile to my stand, shot a deer, dragged back to my stand. I didn’t have any problems. And now I can’t walk for 20 feet without my pulse ox dropping below 8-,” Jones said.

Jones’ struggles make the slowing vaccination rate across the state all the more concerning for him. Over 50 percent of the adult population have their first shot, but less and less people are choosing to get the vaccine.

The mass vaccination site in Springfield can vaccinate 1,800 people per day, but the site has not seen over 800 people in a single day since mid-April. Public Health officials admit the State could soon move the site.

“They could,” Sangamon County Public Health Director Gail O’Neil said. “And I think that that’s something that we’ve known since the beginning. And with our partners in the community and ourselves, we’re not too concerned, if they decide to, you know, move them along, or to reduce the size a little bit.”

Governor Pritzker did not give a timeline for the fairgrounds site, but did say they are adjusting plans.

“We’ve changed strategies a little bit more, taking some for example of our national guardsmen and moving them into even more mobile sites across the state.”

In the meantime, Jones is going to continue spreading his message.

“If you don’t have the shot, you must love to gamble because my life right now sucks.”

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