CLEVELAND — Congressman Tim Ryan is used to being on the go, but over the last few days since testing positive for COVID, he says: "You know, I'm tired. You just want to sleep all of the time...It's been just sleeping 12,13 hours a day for the last few nights."
Ryan was out on the campaign trail last week and thought he might have been dealing with allergies, but wanted to play it safe.
"You know, I did a rapid test," he said in an interview with News 5's John Kosich. "It came back negative, still wasn't feeling okay — another rapid test, negative. I did a 48-hour test, negative. You know, just wasn't feeling well, and then Sunday I lost my taste and I knew that that wasn't allergies or flu or anything and I went Monday to get tested and I came up positive."
Ryan said he was fully vaccinated around March or April, and given the way he feels, he's glad he was.
"I mean, you can really see when you get this, you can see how it can just take you right down, I mean it does affect you," he said. "You know, I mean I'm pretty young, pretty healthy, got vaccinated, and it still kicks your butt. And so you just think if you didn't have the vaccination how bad would it be, which is why people have to go out there and get the vaccination."
"I mean I don't know if I have the Delta variant or what, but it feels to me like this thing is spreading, and it sounds like there's a lot of other just kind of crud out there as well," he said.
Ryan said it was eye-opening for him in getting treatment to see the extent to which the local healthcare workers at his local hospital and those across the state are burnt out.
"Talking to the nurses and the nurse practitioners and the doctors in the last week at the local hospital here, Mercy Health, there's a lot out there. So you get the Delta variant, you get COVID in addition to strep and flu and bronchitis and all of these other things that are going around, and these health care workers are absolutely burnt out," he said. "Everybody is fried and they're doing the job and they're showing up and so part of it's about your own health but also it's about making sure that we're being considerate and responsible to those people on the front lines."
Ryan said this experience has made him realize the importance of our own health.
"It does make you reflect on you take your health for granted a lot and when you're going through the things that you're grateful for, your health has got to be at the top of the list," he said.