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Valley COVID-19 survivor opens up about mental health struggles battling the virus can bring

"You get signs from your body that your body is starting to recover, only to find that two hours later it comes back with a vengeance."

PHOENIX — A Valley man who is recovering from COVID-19 is raising awareness about the mental battle the virus can bring.

Dale Holland’s battle with the coronavirus began in early July.

“I have never felt whole body pain as I experienced with this," Holland said. 

"Every time I would cough or roll over, I could feel every rib in my rib cage and that’s not an exaggeration.”

Holland is an active person and former submariner in the Navy. He says he’s been through a lot. 

After about a week of dealing with COVID-19, another fight began.

“The mental battle, and that was trying to keep positive, trying to keep moving and you get signs from your body that your body is starting to recover, only to find that two hours later it comes back with a vengeance," Holland said.

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Dr. Frank LoVecchio says people who get sick with COVID-19 often feel stressed and anxious.

“Am I going to be one of the people that died, which is relatively rare, am I going to be one of the people who’s hospitalized and very sick, but also maybe you’re one of the people who gets one of these chronic ailments,” LoVecchio said.

A lot of those questions crossed Holland’s mind. One of his toughest moments, he says, was dropping his sick wife off at the hospital.

“That was probably the hardest thing too I’ve ever done in my entire life, because I had to leave here there at 1:30 in the morning not knowing what the outcome would be," he said.

Now both Holland and his wife are healing and looking to the future. The couple shared their story with us on Nextdoor, in hopes of raising awareness about the mental struggles COVID-19 can bring.

They encourage anyone who gets sick to find ways to stay connected just like they did.

“And let them know how you really feel and what you’re struggling with, because I really felt a lot of the good vibes from all over the place,” he said.

The CDC has recommendations for dealing with stress during this pandemic listed on its website