On March 20, Colton Underwood revealed to his social media followers that he'd tested positive for the coronavirus, reporting that his symptoms included a "headache, body aches, night sweats, fever, shortness of breath and a cough."
Nearly a month later, he says he's "feeling so much better."
"In my opinion I made a full recovery and I’m just looking for ways to help out," the former "Bachelor" star said in an interview with TODAY.
Underwood, who recently released an autobiography, "The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV," is quarantining in Huntington Beach, California, with girlfriend Cassie Randolph and her family. (Her family tested negative for the virus after he tested positive, he said.)
Underwood opened up to TODAY about the role his faith has played in his life during the pandemic.
How faith has helped him face the challenges of the pandemic:
"I think in times like this you have to really lean in to something, and for me it’s my faith. We have a lot more free time on our hands than normal and for me I always made the excuse of maybe not going to church on Sunday or not doing my daily readings, as though I’m too busy. And I think this has sort of provided some insight and opportunity for me to really just grow even more in my faith and my walk with God.
"At times ... in the beginning it was a little challenging because I was trying to figure out, OK, well, I can’t go to church, and I’ve never been a firm believer in the only way to talk or communicate with God is through church. But that was slowly starting to become a staple in my schedule, where I was enjoying going to churches on Sundays and really becoming rooted in my faith. These last few times I’ve just been catching online masses and doing my daily readings and just continuing to grow."
Another way in which he has stayed connected with his faith:
"I actually have tried out new churches, too, which is, people might be like, ah, that might be a little weird, but I actually love hearing the messages and how each pastor sort of conveys those messages and how some of them are similar, some of them might be a little different, and it’s been sort of a unique experience where I can almost feel like I’m joining different communities and hearing new perspectives on new things. It’s actually been pretty cool."
How faith has guided his interactions with Randolph — whom he met on 'The Bachelor' — during the pandemic:
"Cass and I built our relationship off of our faith. That’s the foundation of our relationship and we talked about it a lot on the show. Unfortunately, a lot of it didn’t get aired. But that was something that we always leaned on and turned to when we were struggling or when times were tough. And it continues to be that way.
"I think having God in our relationship was something that was important to us, and we both are sort of there to remind each other when we need to take some time and really sort of get back to our roots and back to our faith."
A quote that provides him with comfort and hope:
"I think I’m going to go with my quote that I live by, and that’s Jeremiah 29:11. It’s just, trust in the Lord’s plans that he has for you, plans for you to prosper and not to harm you. I think that’s just really important to keep in perspective right now. Coronavirus might seem daunting, might seem insane, but to the Lord it’s nothing. He has a plan for all of this, He has a way that it’s going to work out, and you just have to trust in His plans to give you hope and a future."
What he would say to those who might be struggling to find hope at this time:
"I understand maybe why. I show them a lot of grace because it’s very easy to do that. I think it’s more challenging to understand that He has a plan for this. This isn’t the worst thing that God has seen, this isn’t the worst thing that people, mankind has been through. I feel like it’s very daunting, very intimidating for everybody right now because this is a pandemic like nobody’s ever seen. But to God, He’s been through so much more. He’s experienced so much more. And I think we just need to keep that perspective."
On people taking this time to 'lean into their faith':
"I would just encourage people if they’ve been sort of on the fence or borderline … I know for me, as a Christian, I grew up in the church and going to Catholic grade school, and I became more nondenominational and just an overall better Christian. But there was a point in my life where I sort of was on the fence. I didn’t know if I was really a devout Christian or if I was just sort of saying I was because that’s how I grew up. I just challenge everybody to really lean into their faith and to really take this time to grow their relationship with God."