Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins shared an intense, candid recount of his bout with COVID-19 on Wednesday, letting the world know just how dangerous the infection can be even to a professional football player – one of the elite athletes in the world. Amidst controversy in the NFL over its new, strict rules on virus outbreaks, Dawkins' story is one that needs to be heard, and should indicate to all players that taking measures to avoid catching the virus are not only for the sake of others' health, but also their own. His message went out in a tweet from FanSided, via the Bills' official team:
"I don’t want to scare anybody, but there were moments where I was like, I don’t know if I’m going to make this."
Bills OL Dion Dawkins shares his experience with COVID-19.
— FanSided (@FanSided) August 18, 2021
Dawkins expressed right from the beginning what, for many, is a misconception about COVID-19 – that a young, healthy person doesn't need to take it as a serious threat to their livelihood.
“How am I a professional athlete, and I'm down bad like this? I can't imagine people who aren't healthy and don't work out, and don't do anything…There was moments when I was like, yo, I don't know if I'm gonna make this.”
Dawkins' point captures exactly the truth that the United States, and the world at large, has been experiencing during the pandemic. For people who don't train their physical health day in and day out, a bout with the virus has often meant fatality.
Dion ended the video with a call to action of sorts, describing what he wished could have gone differently:
Do what you're most comfortable with, but I'm glad that I had the vaccine when I had COVID. You know, I wish that I could have been fully, fully vaccinated. I was right before the fully vaccinated point. If I was fully vaccinated, I think it would've been easier on myself.
Hopefully, for the sake of Dion Dawkins and the rest of the NFL, his message is heard loud and clear.