After falling ill late last week, former Kentucky football player Moncell “Turtle” Allen has been officially diagnosed with coronavirus.
In an exclusive interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, the former Wildcat opened up about his diagnosis, his symptoms, how difficult the last several days have been for him, and why people need to take this virus seriously.
Check out KSR’s entire conversation with “Turtle” Allen on Wednesday evening.
On how he is feeling now…
I’m not 100% right now, breaking a little bit of a fever right now on day ten or so now. I’ve been quarantined.
On how the last week unfolded…
I’ve been down to New Orleans, Louisville, and Lexington traveling for Tin Roof. My body was kind of weak on Wednesday, and I just didn’t feel right. Walking between my car to my house, I’m in the process of moving right now, I had shortness of breath. I was carrying my bags to my porch, and knew something wasn’t right. I said, “It shouldn’t be this hard.” I went inside, laid down, and I just started getting worse. I knew I had to go get checked out. My mom was like, “You might’ve gotten the flu.” I didn’t know if the flu and the coronavirus worked together or anything, people were saying the coronavirus was kind of like the flu, so I went and got tested. I got the test on Thursday in Nashville, and they told me to go home and stay home. They didn’t want me to tell nobody because they weren’t sure what the plan was.
Then they called me on Monday and said I tested positive for the coronavirus, and I was like, “What do you mean? Is this a joke?” They said, “No, you need to stay home, stay in your room. Don’t come out.”
On being fired from Tin Roof the same week he received his diagnosis…
Then I got a call from our corporate office telling us we were all being let go because of the [bars] closing due to the coronavirus. So I got coronavirus, then I got fired from my job. So I’ve been dealing with that, and I’ve been trying to break this fever and get over it. I need money, my last check was supposed to come in on Friday.
On how this virus compares to past illnesses he has dealt with…
My dad was in the hospital with the flu a long time ago, so I know those symptoms he had. That’s why I called my mom. It was like getting hit by a train. It was like, you could not control the pain in your body. It’s not like one part of your body either, it was like every little part of your body that’s hurting you. With breathing, it feels like you ran ten miles, but you only walked ten feet. I’m having stomach problems, I have headaches, all this crazy stuff that’s keeping me up all night. I’m trying to sleep, I can’t really eat. If I take a bite, it just doesn’t taste right to me. I haven’t had a full meal since this happened.
On how serious the virus is…
People not taking it seriously, I’m seeing stuff on Facebook, people joking about it, and people don’t know how hard it is. It’s not easy being in one room, not talking to nobody. Not allowed to do anything.
You’ve just got to take it serious, man. A lot of people just want to party, they want to still go out and play, do all the crazy things they’ve been doing. People need to understand how serious this is. It’s not just in China and these other places, it’s in the United States, it’s in Kentucky. I’m a prime example of someone people know that has this virus. Take it serious. Stay home, keep yourself away from people, wash your hands, and if you’re feeling any symptoms, go get tested. If you feel like you can’t breathe or your body hurts, chest is hurting, coughing, go get a test.
Suiting up from 2007-10, the former Wildcat totaled 509 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground to go with 86 receiving yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also added 21 total tackles, including 17 solo, over the course of his four-year career.
Tomorrow morning, Allen will join Matt Jones on Kentucky Sports Radio to discuss his diagnosis further and how things unfolded over the course of the last week.
Get well soon, Turtle.