‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood recalls his coronavirus battle: ‘I just thought that I had the flu’

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Colton Underwood is grateful for feeling better after fighting coronavirus.

The former “Bachelor” star recently revealed on social media he’s recovered from the virus and credited his girlfriend, Cassie Randolph, for helping him heal. The 28-year-old also announced he is working with medical professionals to find out how he can further help and support their efforts against the novel disease.

The reality TV personality is also thinking about his future. He just unveiled his new memoir titled “The First Time,” which details his journey on “The Bachelor,” as well as enduring both love and heartache over his 28 years.

Underwood spoke to Fox News about testing positive for COVID-19, detailing his relationship with ex-girlfriend, Olympian Aly Raisman, what life is really like with Randolph, 24, and how his faith helped him cope with temptation while appearing on television.

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Fox News: You recently tested positive for COVID-19. How are you feeling today?
Colton Underwood: I’m feeling back to my normal self. I've made a full recovery and I obviously have a lot of people to thank for that, but I'm doing so much better and I'm looking forward to just being there to support the local community and help the community here down in Orange County right now to see how I can help out.

Fox News: When did you realize that something wasn't right?
Underwood: I think that's the scary part about this is there's a lot of unknown, and for me, getting it so early on, I didn't know what was going on and originally when I was symptomatic, I just thought that I had the flu until it turned into shortness of breath. After a night that I woke up gasping for air. So that's when I realized, 'Heym this is more than just the flu.' I pretty much checked off the box for every symptom for coronavirus and I got tested the next day and tested positive two days later. So yeah, it was scary for a little bit.

Fox News: What’s one message you should share with our readers about your health battle?
Underwood: I would just tell them to please, please, please listen to your medical professionals in the area. I know there's a lot of mixed messaging going on right now, but you can always trust your doctor for the most part. And I would just also have them take it seriously if not for them, especially the younger generation. If they're not going to do it for themselves, please do it for the elderly and the people who have preexisting conditions.

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Fox News: You released a new memoir titled “The First Time.” How important was it for you to talk about your relationship with Aly Raisman? 
Underwood: I didn't try to go out of my way to share anything about any one individual, but I think it was important for me to put in just my side of my relationship with in regards to Aly just because, I had never really once publicly spoke on it. I actually made sure it was out of the show because she's somebody who I respect and have so much love and appreciation for. So I didn't want to cross a line on national TV, but for the book purposes, I just felt it was good for me to have closure and shed some light on it. I opened with a funny story between us and I just think it was, it was overall good for me just to talk about.

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Colton Underwood talked about Aly Raisman being his "first love" and "worst heartbreak."

Colton Underwood talked about Aly Raisman being his "first love" and "worst heartbreak." (Getty Images)

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Fox News: What’s life like with your girlfriend, Cassie Randolph, today?
Underwood: Obviously we're all quarantining right now, so life's much simpler than what it was before, but it's been a whirlwind of a few years. I'm not going to lie to you and we're just like any other relationship. We go through our ups and downs, but overall I'm very, very happy. We're happy together and we're really looking forward to the future.

Fox News: Do you think "The Bachelor" prepared the two of you in any way to have an actual relationship without the cameras?
Underwood: I don't know if I would say "Bachelor" prepared us for that because obviously there are always cameras around and they're taking you on these luxury dates and all these foreign countries, which is great and awesome in itself. But definitely doesn't prepare you for the real world, nothing really can and you have to work through it and go through it together. And I think that you could either use that as a growing and learning experience for your relationship or you could let it break you apart. And I know for us, we took so much from it, what to do, what not to do. And we really just stuck together and had each other's back.

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Cassie Randolph and Colton Underwood

Cassie Randolph and Colton Underwood (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton)

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Fox News: You and Cassie broke up at one point after “The Bachelor” wrapped. What made you two get back together?
Underwood: I think the breakup in itself was just a lesson for us to realize that we can't let things build up and we have to keep communicating. We have to keep doing the things that make us successful as a couple and were both just moving so fast at the time and doing our own thing and we were forgetting the foundation that we built together. So we went through a little bit of a rough patch. But overall, she's someone I don't want to live without and we both agree and we're dating with the intent I always say so. It might not be easy all the time, but it's definitely worth it.

Fox News: How did faith help you in any way cope with all the attention and media scrutiny that came with appearing on "The Bachelor"?
Underwood: It obviously tested me at times and there was a lot for me, there were a lot of different emotions that were brought up when it was playing out on TV. And I think the one thing I could look at is my relationship with God and how I've grown so much to be able to walk with him. And my faith came in and played a big factor and not only a big factor in the show, but a big factor in Cassie and my's relationship and where we build our foundation and what we have in common. And it was really nice to have that and to see her values shine through.

Fox News: What would you like the franchise to do differently moving forward?
Underwood: I just think getting back to the roots of what "The Bachelor" is and finding love and making that more so important than their drama. I think a lot of things could be done differently, but I think that's the main thing.

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Fox News: In the past, you suffered from bullying. How did you cope with that?
Underwood: I internalized it and that's not a healthy way or a healthy thing to do at all. I felt it was important to share that story. I actually went back and forth with how much I was going to get into that in the book. But I realized, hey if I'm writing this thing, I might only have this opportunity once to use this platform to talk about it and make sure that men or women out there that are going through a similar struggle can know that they're not alone. And for me that was the importance of putting that story in there is just, hey, it's okay to be different. It's okay to have your own beliefs, your own morals, your own values and stand up for what you believe in.