Mike Giaccione's Assemblers, Inc., thrived as other businesses failed after the coronavirus arrived in March 2020.
But the deadly virus later dealt a heavy blow to the company founder.
Giving testimony at a county press conference, Mr. Giaccione said he is 54 and considered himself in very good health with daily visits to the gym. He said he tries to follow the protocols "but one way or the other it got me."
He said he had just left his business and went to work out on Oct. 5 when he began to feel achy and found that his temperature had reached 100. He stopped at a clinic on Highway 58 to get a rapid test for COVID, and 15 minutes later it showed negative.
Nevertheless, Mr. Giaccione said he went back to the clinic the next day after he began to feel worse and worse and his temp went up to 102 and then 103. He said, "I had a raw sensation inside my chest." While there he took a COVID test that would not be back until several days later.
He then checked himself in to the emergency room on Gunbarrel Road, where this time there was a positive COVID test. He was transferred to the COVID unit at Erlanger downtown. Of his condition then, he said, "I felt like I had been hit by a truck."
The father of two young girls at Silverdale Academy said he received treatments for five days. While in the hospital, he got a call with the results from the clinic COVID test he had taken earlier - another negative. He said wryly, "I'm sitting in the hospital taking COVID treatment and they tell me I'm a negative."
He was finally released, but Mr. Giaccione said 24 hours after getting back home his temperature went back up to 103. "My breathing started getting substantially worse."
Back to the Gunbarrel emergency room, he was told he was developing pneumonia. Then he was shipped back to Erlanger's COVID section.
He said this time it appeared the treatments were not working. "I was miserable. I was not getting any better. I could barely get up out of bed. My breathing was getting really seriously bad. I was up to eight liters of oxygen. It was getting quite scary."
He said, "I started to get concerned. Am I going to be one of those statistics of those who die from COVID?"
But finally he began to turn the corner and was released from the hospital for a second time after he was able to wean off the oxygen. Still, he said he felt miserable.
Three weeks later, he said he is still not up to 100 percent - "probably 80 to 85 percent." He said, "On the way here I got winded walking up the steps."
Mr. Giaccione said despite all the news about the current pandemic, "I've got a doctor who says it's a hoax. I've got all kinds of friends that think this thing's a hoax."
He said, "I can tell you it's not worth the risk because when you get a case like I did, it basically attacks you. And nobody knows why some cases are more severe than other cases."
The Giaccione statement can be seen at