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We don’t know how he got it… Local county couple shares COVID-19 story as a reminder

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
With Ballad Health’s Monday announcement that the positivity rate of COVID-19 has climbed back to 14.9 percent in its 21 county service area along with hospitalizations now over 100 which is the highest since February, many still struggle to believe the numbers and even that COVID-19 is not just another hoax being used by health systems to instill fear into the public.

However, as one local couple saw firsthand over the Easter weekend, the fight for COVID-19 is real and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

For privacy reasons, the couple will be referred to as Bob and Jan.

Just like many others, the family has done all the precautionary recommendations such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, and washing hands.

According to Jan, Bob stays home 95 percent of the time, and the only other place that he had been was to the pharmacy.

Bob developed a terrible headache and had a fever only one day to go along with coughing and congestion. He was also really tired and had no appetite according to Jan.

He was tested a couple of days after he started to feel bad and the two just tried to manage his symptoms. “It’s like your body doesn’t know it’s supposed to be fighting COVID,” Jan stated.

They both knew things were getting worse when an oxygen monitor that fits over the end of the finger showed his oxygen level dropping.

What they discovered at the hospital was eye-opening.

“It took seven hours for them to start treating him from the time he showed up at the hospital because there were so many patients that he had to sit in a waiting room with other COVID patients for five hours and a lot of them left the hospital that probably needed to be there,” said Jan.

“I fear some of them may just get worse and they won’t come back because they left. I think everybody, including myself, thought it was getting better because of the vaccines.”

Jan spoke with the front desk receptionists and was told that the number of patients coming in with COVID was worse than the last peak experienced.

There were so many patients in during the weekend that a count had been lost at the number seen. It was even disclosed that traveling nurses were called in to help with the recent surge.

Bob and Jan’s children, both in their twenties, had received their vaccinations, wore masks, and socially distanced from their friends – the family was doing everything that had been recommended especially since Jan’s mother was ill. Bob and Jan had not vaccinated for COVID-19.

Bob was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia and is in the hospital currently. The family wanted to share their story in hopes of making others aware not to take security in believing that the vaccine has the virus under control.

They urged everyone to continue following the advised recommendations of wearing face coverings, social distancing when possible, and washing hands regularly. Vaccination also should be of priority.

And to know that COVID is real as Bob is fighting to recover from the virus.