Detroit Police Chief James Craig talks about his battle in recovering from COVID-19

Detroit Police James Craig has recovered from COVID-19.

Diagnosed three weeks ago, Craig was among the several hundred members of law enforcement that were pushed into quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus. 

"The disease is full-time attacking you," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. "You've got to fight and if you're not a fighter, you've got to become a fighter."

Craig spent nearly three weeks at home recovering from the coronavirus. He says he thought his symptoms were just allergies, but had a nagging cough - then his COVID-19 test came back positive. 

"That's when the fever set in, body chills, loss of appetite, very weak, tired," Craig said.

Despite that, Craig worked from home as often as he could while communicating regularly with his Henry Ford Health System doctor. Craig, though, decided not - to go to the hospital. 

"Because I knew going to the hospital I could probably take a bed from someone else who really needed it," he said. 

Craig says he tried boosting his immune system with herbal supplements... stayed hydrated with water and hot tea - and forced himself to eat without an appetite.

"I wouldn't give into this virus because it wants to totally consume you," he said.

Craig says despite getting rest and fluids and making sure he ate. He says what worked for him the most, was exercise.
 "You've got to move. Even if it's just means getting up, walking downstairs, walking upstairs," Craig said.

And on his worst days, Craig says he got encouragement - and prayers from his department.

Along with messages of love from friends and strangers across the state - and country... helped him stay positive... 

"It was those encouraging words that I kept hearing and it just made me stronger," he said.

The chief says more than 700 people in the department have been quarantined or tested positive. Craig says he's proud of their work during this pandemic.

"Despite this unknown deadly virus they continue to go out and service community with distinction and honor," he said.

Craig said he want to remind everyone to stay home.

"Think about your parents. Your grandparents. And don't really yourself out. Stay home. Save lives. It's just that simple."

Craig's original diagnosis came March 26 after Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the police chief had tested positive for the virus. One of the better-known public offices from the city to come down with the virus, Craig gave updates to news media while he recuperated at home.

Craig's diagnosis came as Michigan's COVID-19 spread was ramping up to its highest daily total in early April. While most can carry the virus, those who are older and have underlying symptoms are most at risk for worsening symptoms or even death. A week after Craig's diagnosis, he said he had been feeling better. It would take another two weeks before he was given the all-clear.

While Michigan has racked up more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases - one of the highest state totals in the country - it's also beginning to see a rising number of recoveries. As of April 10, 433 individuals had overcome the virus. Those numbers are released by the state every Saturday.