By Valder Beebe
I’ve had the blessed opportunity to interview Robert Owens, a COVID-19 survivor & the author of the new book “Beyond Average” (American Ghost Media), triathlete, Ironman, Air Force Special Ops Para-rescue-man, keynote speaker, & philanthropist Robert Owens. Robert was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday, March 23rd after feeling ill with a 103 degree temperature. Robert’s wife, a flight attendant for a major airline, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 and is still in quarantine at their home in Newport Beach, California, attempting to ride it out.
Robert openly discusses his and his wife’s very personal & frightening experiences with COVID-19 with me, their symptoms & how they were diagnosed, & the recovery process. Robert, dubbed “The Fittest 66-Year Old in the World,” is a testament to the reality that ANYONE AT ANY AGE can contract COVID-19. And Robert attributes his recovery from the virus to his ongoing effort to be as fit and healthy as possible at all times.
VBS: Robert, COVID-19 is a global pandemic and it has touched all of us across the globe. Can you share how it has touched you on a personal level?
RO: My wife is a flight attendant based in a hub out of Dallas. She flew to Japan and China and January, February and March 2020. She knew she had sick people on her plane coming back from Asia, trying to get out of Asia. One of the passengers in first class said to her ‘oh by the way I’m going back to Houston because I’m virus positive; I’m home going to be quarantined.’ My wife as a flight attendant has been serving him for about eight hours. When she got off the plane she notified her supervisor, she notified her Union, she notified everyone in the chain of needing to know. She (my wife) said ‘a passenger in first class could be infected with the virus and may have infected the entire first class, the crew and passengers.’
VBS: What occurred next because you are extremely healthy?
RO: A few days later I started to get achy. I called my Doctor, I said ‘Doc it seems like I’ve caught the flu for the first time in over twenty years. I may have something like the virus. What’s going on with me? And to let you know, my wife just flew to China and Japan. Immediately my doctor said, “I’m going to test you both for the virus.” Both of us tested positive within 18 hours.
VBS: You have been in 14 Iron Man competitions; did you get ill right away?
RO: My siltation, first couple of days you feel sort of sick, then the fever hits. On day eight, my wife then becomes sick….
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