'Getting hit in the lungs with a baseball bat:' Racine School Board member recounts COVID-19 diagnosis

John Heckenlively

RACINE -- Racine School Board member John Heckenlively is among the 20,000 Wisconsinites that have recovered from the coronavirus.

"I've compared it to getting hit in the lungs with a baseball bat," he said.

He says one week into his diagnosis his condition worsened.

"I could barely get up and move around. I had no appetite. I mean eating bread was hard," he said.

Racine County remains third in the state for the highest COVID-19 cases, just surpassing 2,000 cases.

Health officials say the majority of cases are coming from the city of Racine.

At this time there as an ongoing legal dispute on the restrictions, the city can put on businesses to reopen. There are also ongoing conversations on what the fall school year will look like. Nothing has been decided.

"We may see some kind of alternate schedule where hall the students go one day and the other half go the other day," he said.

Heckenlively says he was diagnosed at the end of April.

He also developed pneumonia and was hospitalized for a week. He said he didn't start feeling better until the end of May. He's still unsure where exactly he contracted COVID-19.


"I had been traveling around in public transportation and you come in close contact," he said.

He says after experiencing the virus for himself his best advice for the public is to take health warnings seriously.

"For the time being follow the medical experts," Heckenlively said.

Burlington High School will be the site of COVID-19 testing next week Tuesday and Wednesday.