Benson shares a statement about his condition
Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Western swing frontman says he was diagnosed last week after becoming bed ridden from fatigue and headaches.
“Wow, I am filled with so much love and gratitude right now. Thank you so much for the calls, texts, emails, notes on social media from concerned family, friends and fans from all over the world. I appreciate it more than you know and I apologize if I haven’t responded, but I am responding as much as I can with what my energy level allows!” he shares.
He continues, “To clear up any confusion or questions, I have tested positive for the COVID 19 Virus. I had become bed ridden with headaches and extreme fatigue/dizziness. I made an appointment with my doctor on Saturday, March 21st to see what was up. Got tests for flu, influenzas etc.. All came back negative. I then asked for a COVID 19 test. They said they didn’t have any! So I just went back home and hunkered down to see if it went away. Unfortunately, the same symptoms kept occurring/progressing. Being extremely fatigued, just falling asleep all the time, headaches were getting worse. Went back to doctor on Monday the 30th to do some bloodwork and other tests to try and figure out what was going on.
“After not finding anything through those, I was finally given a COVID 19 test and was sent home and said they’d call me with the results. So I got a call Tuesday morning saying I tested positive! Luckily for me nothing has progressed any farther and feel very lucky and optimistic about my current situation. I am still very fatigued/dizzy and in bed for now. Doctor says if nothing further comes up like elevated temperature, respiratory, cough etc., I should be in the clear in the coming weeks.”
He says the lack of available testing is frustrating and encourages everyone to stay home.
“What I’d like to get out there is I am and was very frustrated with the lack of testing available. It took basically testing for everything else to acquire a COVID 19 test. Luckily, I wasn’t around that many people within this time frame and was practicing the standard things like washing your hands/sanitizer, wearing a mask at the doctors, keeping proper distance etc.. So I’d like everyone to know the “symptoms” that are out there as ways to know if you have it or don’t have the virus, doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. They didn’t for me!” he writes.
“So, please take this virus seriously! It’s for real. Please follow the safety guidelines out there. If you think or subscribe to those folks whose opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! Please send your thoughts and prayers out there to all the wonderful people putting their health and their families at risk defending ours. We all know someone or somebody who has lost their life to this virus and we have lots of folks currently fighting the virus and their families need your thoughts and prayers as well.
“Please love each other and treat everyone with respect in this time of crisis. This is real and needs to be treated as such. Be safe, wash your hands, STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC, hunker down and I look forward to getting out on the road and playing music with my band and seeing everyone ASAP!”
Benson is one of many celebrities and musicians who’ve contracted the virus. He follows Jackson Browne, Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, Olivia Lane and 90’s country star Joe Diffie, who passed away over the weekend from the virus. Folk singer/songwriter John Prine has also contracted the disease but is “critical but stable” his wife shares. Actor Tom Hanks and wife and singer Rita Wilson were also diagnosed two weeks ago while filming a movie in Australia. They returned home to Los Angeles last week.