A few days after revealing that he tested positive for COVID-19 (the illness caused by the novel coronavirus), Colton Underwood told Bachelor fans he's "recovering" from the coronavirus, but encouraged everyone to take the precautions "seriously" in order to avoid catching the virus themselves. In a new interview with People, the former Bachelor explained that despite staying with girlfriend Cassie Randolph and her family, he's "taking isolation very seriously" in order to keep them from getting sick.
"I’m isolated to a room and Cassie brings me my food with gloves and a mask on," Colton told the outlet. On March 23, Cassie posted a video of her "quarantine chronicles" on Instagram, where she and her mother can be seen putting on gloves and masks, while Colton sits up in bed with a shirt wrapped around his face, to avoid spreading the germs. While Cassie's video made it clear that the pair are struggling with the quarantine restrictions, Colton told People that she and her family have yet to present any symptoms, which seem to indicate that the precautions are helping.
But while he's doing "okay" and feeling better, Colton did reveal that he's still having respiratory problems. "It’s still hard to breathe," he told People. "I feel like I only have access to about 20 percent of my lungs. My breath is shorter, and I’ve had to train myself to talk differently with my breath. And I have to lie down and rest a lot."
Colton recounted that his symptoms first began with "a mild headache and body aches," shortly after he and Cassie visited the emergency room on March 16, when she was stung by a stingray during a trip to the beach. However, once he noticed he was waking up in "profuse sweat" Colton realized that something was wrong. "I’d wake up and the bed would be soaking wet and I would be cold and shivering," he explained. "That was the final straw, and I was like, "I need to get tested.'"
Unfortunately, he told the outlet that it was difficult for him to actually get tested, despite the fact that Randolph tried to get him qualified for two tests, only to be rejected. "There was no special treatment," Colton explained, revealing it took a while for him to be put in touch with a doctor who had tests available. "I got tested as Colton Underwood, not [the Bachelor]. I was just fighting for my health."
Once he was diagnosed, Colton said he "didn’t have a hesitation" to share it with fans. "I think people needed to hear from someone they could relate to. And I also wanted to communicate my diagnosis to the people I’d been around in the last week or two," he told People. "It’s not something to be ashamed of. But it was important to share."
If nothing else, Colton wants his experience with the coronavirus to encourage his fans and followers to take the situation seriously and follow all of the protocols advised by the WHO. "This is not a fun experience, no matter how old you are," the Bachelor explained. "Everybody needs to take this seriously, both for themselves and the people you love." After all, the sooner the coronavirus is under control, the sooner Bachelor Nation gets to see good looking people fall in love on their TV screens.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.