BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Chris Bordes had just come back from a two-week stint on the road and was happy to be back with his family in time for the weekend.
But soon after he returned last Friday, the truck driver said he began not feeling well.
“I started to feel a little bit of pressure on my chest, and some coughing, but nothing extreme,” Bordes said.
By Saturday morning, his symptoms became worse.
“It was getting hard to breathe, the chest pressure continued, I felt like I was being squeezed in a vice,” he recalled.
Bordes eventually called his primary care physician and was transported to a local hospital, where doctors tested him for COVID-19.
“They brought me in and did their routine resting, and they admitted me to the hospital Sunday night,” he said. “The test results came back Monday that I had tested positive.”
Thankfully, Bordes is now recovering at home and tells Eyewitness News he’s feeling better each day.
The truck driver spends most of his time on the roads in the Northeast and regularly drives through New York and New Jersey.
“I’m sure I came in contact with somebody, but where? I have no idea,” he said.
Bordes said now more than ever, truck drivers are needed in the fight against COVID-19. He said stores rely on their deliveries to stock their shelves.
He also said while the pandemic has brought in a new wave of appreciation for truck drivers, he feels more needs to be done for the drivers putting their own health on the line to deliver crucial supplies.
“Truck drivers have to stay out, they have to keep rolling, because if they stop, it’s done,” he said.
That’s why he said they deserve to be treated with respect during the pandemic.
He said he’s been denied access to a restroom because of new policies at places that forbid outsiders from going into a building, which is just one of the challenges truckers are facing during this unprecedented time.
“The truck drivers are in it together, for one reason, we do what we do for one reason, and we’ve been isolated from everyone else,” he said.
Bordes thinks there could be better ways to protect the truck drivers who often travel through many states, especially at rest stops, where he worries things aren’t being cleaned as well as they should be.
While he said there’s no concrete solution to all of his concerns, he hopes people will put themselves in the trucker’s shoes.
“Those that don’t need to be out, stay home – and the essential businesses that are running, show the truck drivers some respect,” he said.
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