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COVID-19 came too close to my family for comfort

COVID-19 hit close — too close — to home last week.

Last Monday my daughter learned that a member of her church who attended services the previous Sunday tested positive for COVID-19.

Given the stories of the virus’ effect on an individual, learning you or a member of your family were exposed or may have been exposed to it can cause some concern, and although my daughter was not sure if she came in contact with the infected person, the mere idea she was in the same environment as someone who carried the virus was enough to worry all of us.

The news set of a chain reaction of events.

First came the questions from me and my wife as to whether my daughter had contact with the person or if she knew who it was. That was followed by a phone call and conversation with my doctor who patiently laid out the steps we needed to take as we began the process of “sweating out” the time between learning of the possible exposure and the time when my daughter would take the test to determine if she had the virus.

After talking to the doctor, my daughter and I called our employers, who were obviously concerned about our situation. Then for the next eight days, we wore masks everywhere and disinfected everything. We washed our hands after touching practically everything. While I was able to go out and go to work wearing a mask, my daughter and my wife stayed at home. At no time did any of us show symptoms.

Monday, my daughter went for her test. The results were negative and we all breathed a sigh of relief. And I learned a lesson.

We dodged a bullet and it’s an experience I don’t want to go through again. I’m more conscientious about wearing my mask, no matter how uncomfortable the thing is. I try to stay away from large crowds when I can help it. I wash my hands more and use sanitizer.

I’ve always supported the restrictions local and state governments issued out of concern for COVID-19 and I followed them, but probably not as seriously as I should have. Now, because of my experience, I do, and I have no patience for the whiners who complain about masks, social distancing or any other regulation set to protect them and us from the virus. I also wish the governor would show true leadership and issue a statewide mandate for masks.

Sorry for the preaching but learning someone in your family either has or may have COVID-19 is a serious matter. We were very lucky; many families have not been as fortunate.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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