AURORA, Ill. - What does it feel like to have the coronavirus? Three Aurora city leaders who were diagnosed with the virus last month talked about their experiences Wednesday.
A police commander says he felt like he had been hit by a truck, the mayor says his teeth hurt, and the police chief says it took her 10 days to recover.
"Let our community know this is for real. This isn't just something that happens on the news that happens to the other guy,” said Mayor Richard Irvin.
For weeks, Aurora's top brass were knocked out by the coronavirus.
Mayor Irvin, Police Chief Kristen Ziman and Police Commander Keith Cross were all diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of March.
"The first thing we thought about was protecting our police officers, protecting our firefighters and EMT, protecting all of our citizens and so in thinking about that and doing that, what did we all do? We all convened together in a room," Chief Ziman said.
And that's where they may have contracted the virus.
"You know we all went through, there's no way to say it, went through hell and back,” Mayor Irvin said.
Chief Ziman says her symptoms were mild and started out as a head cold.
Commander Cross experienced the most severe reaction.
"I felt like a truck hit me. I was vomiting, I had a fever, I had a lot of different things going on, so that was my first trip to the emergency room,” Cross said.
The mayor says he couldn't eat for days and lost 10 pounds.
"My teeth ached. My eyeballs ached. It was the strangest feeling like they were going to pop out of my head or something,” Irvin said.
The mayor and police chief have recovered and are back on the job, but the commander is still experiencing symptoms.
"This is something I don't think any of us ever thought we'd experience in our lifetimes…and we'll grow stronger from it, you know? There's resilience and I’ll just talk here locally, we are Aurora strong,” Irvin said.
At least 100 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Aurora and four have died.