William & Mary cheerleader who recovered from COVID delivers warns to fellow students

Posted at 2:13 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 14:13:54-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- William & Mary cheerleader Lacey Mathis is speaking out about her battle with COVID-19 with the hope other students take the virus seriously as they return to college campuses across the country.

"I was basically in bed on my back at least 20 hours of the day," Mathis said about her experience with COVID-19. "I couldn't really get up and move. I was sleeping a lot. High fevers for almost the entire three months."

Mathis was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March.

She said she believed she was exposed to the virus while cheering at a basketball tournament.

While she said she's gotten past the worst of the illness, she's still working to regain her strength and continues to suffer from lingering effects.

"Along with all the pain and everything, there were just a lot of nightmares and replaying all these awful things over in your head. It was terrifying and it's definitely definitely still affecting me," she said. "I still, to this day, can't smell or taste."

She said she's distressed to see images of college students returning to school ignoring safety protocols.

"To go online and see all these pictures of people being so casual and nonchalant about it in the middle of a global pandemic, it's a bit confusing," she said. "I hope everybody gets it mildly if you have to have it at all, but it's not at all guaranteed. There's still so much we don't know and just be safe because even if it doesn't happen to you it could happen to somebody that you care about."