By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Well-known rapper and football coach Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell is speaking out for the first time to a news outlet about his battle with the deadly coronavirus, saying “It was rough and no joke.”

In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, the 59-year-old Campbell revealed where he feels he contracted the virus: At a party at a friend’s house.

“I went to a friend’s party and that’s where I think I got it,” he said. “Nobody had a mask on and I was praying. I left the party early. I was like, nobody has a mask on and everyone is drinking. And when they are drinking they come up to your face a little more.”

Campbell, who rose to fame with the group “2LIveCrew” and who is now the football coach at Miami Edison Senior High School, said he hoped youngsters and everyone would learn lessons from his potentially life-saving message.

Campbell said, “It was rough. It was no joke. The coronavirus is no joke. It is no hoax. I try to tell people and encourage people to stay out of these places and keep your mask on. It was rough. It was rough. I don’t wish it on anybody.”

Campbell has been spreading his message on social media, where he is seen giving his football team a pep talk and also seen wearing a face mask while cradling his dog.

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He posted a nearly 50-minute-long video on Instagram on Sunday and spoke about his symptoms. “This still affects me,” he said. “The COVID. I wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning in bed and the bed is soaking wet.”

On Wednesday, he said “I was going through a lot. I could not smell and I could not eat anything. If I tried to eat something it tasted like cardboard. The only thing I could do was drink water. I lost probably about 15 pounds. It was very hard. It was very hard. Walking upstairs in my house was climbing Mount Everest.”

He had a fever that reached 102 degrees and stomach aches and backaches.

“I don’t wish it on anybody. I had body aches. My body ached and then on top of it I lay on my bed for so long. Thank God I have a lot of friends who I have worked with and went to check on me and tried to get me to go to the hospital,” said Campbell. “But I didn’t want to go when I was fighting a fever because I felt all those beds were for people more ill than I was.”

Campbell said he was optimistic.

“I always thought I might get through this,” he said. “I always stayed positive. That is one thing about me. I am a man of God. At the same time, I am a fighter and I fight through anything before me.”

Campbell is also acutely aware of the recent images of young people crowding into clubs and not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing.

“It is very important that people not be reckless,” he said. “I tell adults that you have got to stand firm. It’s not about whether you have it. It’s about you being responsible.”

Campbell said, “I try to tell people and encourage people to stay out of these places and keep your masks on. It was rough. It was rough. I don’t wish this coronavirus on anybody.”

Campbell is upbeat about his future.

After suffering through what he said was one of the worst weeks of his life, he said he was upbeat about the fire. He has a number of music and film projects that he is working on and he will celebrate his 60th birthday on December 22nd.

Peter D'Oench