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Arts & Culture

Ray Benson Tells His COVID-19 Recovery Story

Ray Benson performing onstage at the Austin Music Awards in 2014.
Ray Benson performing onstage at the Austin Music Awards in 2014.

From Texas Standard:

Most Texans have likely experienced some hardship because of the pandemic. But it's hit some harder than others, including those who've actually had COVID-19.

Ray Bensonis a guitar player, singer and frontman for the band Asleep at the Wheel, and he has recovered from the disease. He told Texas Standard host David Brown on Thursday that it took a toll, but he's feeling better.

"During the illness, I was knocked out and in bed so much that I lost 20 pounds," Benson said.

Benson announced on March 31 that he had COVID-19. He first felt symptoms after playing a musical event for Willie Nelson on March 17.

"On the 18th it hit me like a ton of bricks," he said.

A few days later, Benson wanted to get tested but he was turned away because he didn't have a fever or respiratory symptoms. He was experiencing nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. He eventually did get tested, and was sick for about two-and-a-half weeks  total. 

"I went public because I couldn't get a test, otherwise I wouldn't have gone public," Benson said. "But the outpouring of love and concern was incredible."

Benson said he doesn't know how he and other musicians will be able to get back to playing live shows, and whether bookers will be willing to stage them. 

"I've often said there's a premium on going to see people in person because we're humans, and there's something that goes on between humans face to face that is not going to happen on video," he said.

Web story by Shelly Brisbin.

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