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COVID-19 Survivors Tell Their Stories, Urge The Public Take The Virus Seriously

COVID-19 Survivor Dr. Devandra Amin
Stephanie Colombini
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WUSF Public Media
Dr. Devandra Amin of Clearwater is one of the Tampa Bay residents interviewed for Stephanie Colombini's series. He contracted the virus in late March, when scientists and physicians knew very little about how to treat it. He recovered, and has helped care for COVID-19 patients ever since.

This week, Florida Matters shares the stories of three Tampa Bay residents who contracted and survived COVID-19. Their stories are part of a larger series airing this week on WUSF.

More than 700,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida since March. And for those who have recovered, the illness has changed their lives forever.

Health News Florida reporter Stephanie Colombini talked with several people about what it was like to have COVID-19 and you’ll hear those stories all week on WUSF.

We bring you three of those stories on this week's Florida Matters.

You'll hear from Dr. Devandra Amin of Clearwater, Ambyr Lix of Land O'Lakes and Mary Ann Shea of Sarasota.

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Host Bradley George also spoke with Colombini about her experiences reporting the series.

"I was surprised at how open people were. We got great responses," Colombini said. "I think people really want to tell their stories, what I heard from everybody was 'I just feel strongly about my experience out there so that other people can learn from it.' Because there is this concern that some in the community don't take this pandemic seriously."

After talking to six Tampa Bay residents for the series, Colombini said she'd like to know more about how contact tracing is being conducted, among other issues.

"It doesn't seem like much was done at all (for the people she interviewed) and that's supposed to be a critical element of curbing outbreaks," she said. "And it didn't seem like anyone (her interviewees) had a clue and they were hanging to guess and put the pieces together of who might have infected them."

You can listen to the full conversation with Colombini and hear three of her Surviving COVID-19 audio postcards above.

Dinorah Prevost is the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters,WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.