AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Sunday, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced he and his wife Kim tested positive for COVID-19, saying, “2020 just keeps on giving!”
Bonnen, R-Angleton, says they don’t know where specifically they were exposed, but specified that he and his family chose to spend Christmas with only their household.
The Speaker says his symptoms have been mild, but his wife’s symptoms have been more difficult but manageable. He later told KXAN that Jackson, one of his two sons, also tested positive for COVID-19, saying Jackson had very mild, cold-like symptoms. The family is quarantining.
“This disease is no joke in its unpredictability and severity, so please continue to keep your guard up and your loved ones protected,” Bonnen wrote on Facebook. “Mask up and social distance, avoid large gatherings, and take care of one another.”
“I genuinely didn’t think I would get it,” Bonnen said in an interview Sunday with KXAN. “Even just the slightest exposure can create the problem. The truth of it is when it gets into the household, it’s going to run through it.”
Bonnen said his wife “struggled in the first couple days” of her illness. Bonnen said muscle aches have been the most prevalent symptom he’s experienced.
“Of the four people in my household, the safest, most cautious is my wife, and she’s the one who got it first,” Bonnen said. “There is no rhyme or reason with these things, and what it really proves is how highly contagious this virus is.”
Bonnen’s diagnosis comes just weeks after the first shipments of vaccines made their way into Texas, with Gov. Greg Abbott being vaccinated on Dec. 21.
Bonnen said even as his family deal with the virus, there’s “extraordinary hope” as the vaccine is being distributed around the state and nation.
“The reality of it is that the vaccine is working, and it’s getting pushed out,” he said. “No one thinks it can happen fast enough, but I will tell you it’s happening very fast. We have endured nine months of this virus, and if you think about it, within the next six months, or really in three-to-four months, Texans will be in a far better place in living a more normal life.”