ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando Black business owner, who at first did not want the vaccine, said his views have changed after his recent battle with COVID-19.
Marquiz McKenzie, 30, said he was regularly wearing his mask and even getting tested for COVID. Though he only had a mild cold when he recently tested positive, he said the vaccine can save your life and possibly others.
“I just didn’t think it would happen to me,” McKenzie said. “I thought I was untouchable to be honest with you. Like I’m young and COVID is not going to catch me but it caught me.”
He said he tested positive for COVID-19 back on July 2. He’s the owner of a cleaning business called The Dirt Master. He’s now back at work and encouraging others to take COVID-19 seriously.
“I was depressed for a while because I really didn’t know if I was going to overcome it or if it was going to be worse day by day,” McKenzie said. “A lot of thoughts went through my head because I’ve lost family members and friends through COVID.”
News 6 featured McKenzie last summer during one of our Black Business Month spotlights. He also runs a nonprofit to motivate juvenile offenders and he’s pushed for returning citizens to have voting rights through his work with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
McKenzie said when he’s cleared from his doctor, he’s getting the vaccine and he’s getting his children vaccinated, too, when they can.
“At first I was against the vaccine. All of these theories coming out and I was scared,” McKenzie said. “And one of the most important reasons that I wanted to get vaccinated is that everyone I come in contact with isn’t as lucky as me.”
He said the vaccine can save lives.
“I’m definitely encouraging people that it can happen at any age, it can happen to anyone, so you want to be safe at all times,” McKenzie said.
You can watch more of McKenzie’s interview below: