OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Opelika’s Police Chief is sharing his struggle after coming down with COVID-19. Chief John McEachern says the virus made him sicker than he’s ever been, and he wouldn’t wish this illness on his worst enemy. The chief urges people to wear masks and social distance to save themselves and others from the virus that can be life-threatening.
“It came upon me sort of like a back cloud – it’s for real. On a scale of one to 10 in terms of sickness, I was at a nine or a 10,” shared Chief McEachern.
The 65-year-old Opelika Police chief is in great shape and healthy. Still, the virus came on strong and lingered day after day for more than two weeks.
“One day it was a headache, the next day body aches, next day coughing and the dry cough. I was even short of breath. It was very scary. The worst part was losing the taste buds, you can’t taste anything, and you don’t want to eat. The nausea was awful. You can’t get comfortable,” shared McEachern.
Chief McEachern was sick for 16 days, and his wife was ill too. He says they were both able to remain at home and recover. Neighbors dropped off groceries and helped from a distance. The illness caused worry for his family and kept him out of the police department for more than two weeks. McEachern returned to the office this week and is regaining his strength, zapped by the virus.
“If nobody listens to anything else I say, just please practice social distancing and face coverings. Save yourself a lot of grief – no doubt,” said McEachern.
Chief McEachern says wearing a mask is a sign of respect for others as the community sees a steady increase in cases. He worries many are not taking the virus seriously. He hopes the community will come together and take simple steps to protect themselves and others while ensuring our local hospitals can continue caring for those who require additional treatment.