As businesses prepare to reopen, coronavirus survivor urges Georgians to stay home

Allen Owens is among several congregation members who contracted COVID-19 at a Cartersville church in early March. He is back home with his wife Mary now, but worries people are not taking the deadly virus seriously as businesses prepare to reopen across the state.

"I don't really think it's necessary. I think we need to wait a little longer and see what's going to happen. We got it to the point where it started to clear up and we don't need to get it flared up and get it starting all over again," said Owens.

The road to recovery for the 70-year-old has been challenging, not to mention, heartbreaking.

"Within a week of catching the virus, I was on a ventilator and I had double pneumonia. This is something that comes to you and then it's too late. I've got about eight friends who have already died from this stuff. It's nothing to be taken lightly," said Owens, who is a member of The Church at Liberty Square.

"I was the first patient to get off the ventilator at Cartersville Memorial Hospital to survive. I was on the ventilator for two weeks and I've been home for two weeks with a cough I still can't shake. And just the other day, I got a call that they found a nodule on my lung that's common with people who've had the virus," he told FOX 5's Portia Bruner by phone.

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Grateful to be back home with his wife Mary, Allen said he will stay home for quite some time and hopes others will do the same--even after restaurants and other businesses reopen in the days ahead.

"I'm just afraid people aren't taking it seriously. I see all these people walking around with no kind of protection. The kids are all out playing and uncovered, and I would just hate for this virus to keep spreading," Owens said.

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

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