Bexar County commissioner shares his experience with COVID-19, encourages others to stay vigilant

County Commissioner Tommy Calvert tested positive for COVID-19 days after attending a county commissioners meeting

After testing positive for COVID-19, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert is sharing his experience to warn others to remain vigilant in the pandemic.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert is sharing his experience to warn others to remain vigilant in the pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO – After testing positive for COVID-19, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert is sharing his experience to warn others to remain vigilant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calvert said he noticed something was wrong while cooking dinner this past Thursday.

“I was making some butter basil shrimp because I hadn’t made it in a while,” Calvert said. “I tasted it and I noticed I couldn’t taste it and I was very disappointed. I took a test a week prior and it was negative. I was exposed on Jan. 1 and took that test on the Jan. 6.”

He said he began to panic once he realized what was happening.

“When I couldn’t taste my shrimp, I got some caramel popcorn and couldn’t taste that,” Calvert said. “Then I tried the cheddar popcorn and couldn’t taste that. Then I tried some chocolate covered pecans and couldn’t taste that, and I said, ‘Oh no.’”

Before last Thursday when he noticed the symptoms, Calvert said he thought he just had allergies.

“I have bad allergies with cedar oak and all of that,” Calvert said. “When I tested negative, I thought that it was cedar season again hitting me. It was just a little congestion, occasional runny nose, but it wasn’t constant.”

Despite having a negative test, Calvert said he still wanted to be on the safe side.

“In those weeks where I was exposed on Jan. 1, and my friend who visited me tested positive on Jan. 3, I loaded up on healthy green vegetables,” Calvert said. “Superfoods, kale, spinach, broccoli and asparagus, all kinds of fruits and a lot of vitamins and I think that helped my body fight it a bit.”

With the negative test result and thinking he had allergies, Calvert attended the Bexar County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday and tested positive for COVID-19 Friday.

“That morning I began calling all my colleagues and they got tested and all came back negative,” Calvert said. “They have all been very supportive and kind and ask how they could help. I still want them to keep an eye on things. It is just one of those things where you have to be quite careful about exposure.”

Now working strictly from home, Calvert said the virus has made him think even harder about the pandemic’s impact on the community.

“It has given me a renewed sense of determination to look at the recommendations the city and county are doing,” Calvert said. “How do we step things up to make sure folks don’t get this and take it seriously? For example, it is not fun having to worry about the micro-clots in your blood. They can shut your organs down. They have killed people in their 40′s. How do we deal with people who are going to have recurring health problems? I feel an infinity with continuing to fight hard to make sure we take care of those who have been affected by COVID-19.

Calvert said most importantly, he hopes people will see how important it is to always keep your guard up.

“I haven’t been to a lot of public meetings and have been doing everything through Zoom,” Calvert said. “I have turned down a lot of invitations to lunches and dinners. The one time that I allowed a friend to come over is the time it happened. That was my responsibility. My advice is don’t ever let your guard down.”

Related: Commissioner Calvert tests positive for COVID-19 days after appearing in Commissioners Court


About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.