Tasha Nelson’s 8-year-old son Jack has cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease that puts him at high-risk for COVID-19.
Nelson said the family has been isolated in their Manassas home for more than 10 days and is taking extraordinary precautions at the recommendation of her son’s specialist.
“COVID could kill him,” Nelson said.
When Nelson ventured out of the house to buy groceries last Friday wearing a protective mask and gloves, she said she was mocked by people in the grocery store.
“People were rolling their eyes. Someone outright laughed at me,” Nelson said. “Another man said as I walked by, ‘Why are people overreacting?’”
Nelson said she was taken aback that people in her community were not taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
“The only way my son will survive this situation will be is if our neighbors and the rest of the community take this seriously,” Nelson said.
“This is my neighborhood that’s being affected, and people are still not social distancing. It’s heartbreaking,” Nelson said. “People are still going to restaurants and bars.”
Nelson said she hopes her story will help people take the situation more seriously.
Charity Furness, director of Experience Old Town Warrenton, shared this story Friday:
“Thursday evening, eight hours before we were scheduled to leave for our two-week vacation, [my husband] Steve received a phone call that a colleague in his office had tested positive for coronavirus. At the time, this person was one of 17 people in Virginia that had tested positive. We made the difficult decision to cancel our vacation and self-quarantine.
“The past 24 hours have been nuts. Our suitcases still sit packed by the door. The kids are out of school for the next two weeks. Steve and I are scheduled to be off and we now just wait. Perfectly healthy, with our bags packed, we sit at home socially distancing ourselves and wait. It’s hard.
“We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. As humans it is our social nature to come together in times of uncertainty. It's called community. We live in a strong community where we come together to celebrate and support each other. Social distancing is not our nature. It’s hard.
“The community wants to come together to ensure no one will go hungry during this pandemic. We want to personally interact with our neighbors and let them know we care and support them. The love and support looks so much different when you its recommended not to physically gather. It’s hard.
“As the days get longer and the air is warmer, we want to be outside playing. We've had to postpone the soccer season to help flatten the curve. As a coach and a parent, it's my instinct to say let's just get everyone together for a fun team bonding party while the kids play. It goes against my natural instincts to socially distance myself. It’s hard.
“My job with EOTW is to literally bring people together; to create community. The elderly are listed as the most vulnerable during this pandemic but I would argue that small business ranks right up there as well. The economy has taken a huge hit. We are told to stay home. As much as our community has rallied around other important causes, we need to rally around our small businesses. Order takeout. Try out Old Town's curbside pickup. Don't let social distancing kill your favorite downtown business. It’s hard.
“The waiting game is difficult. What are we waiting for? This is something we've never experienced before. It is an invisible threat spread from person to person. It is not defined. It is not controlled. How will we know it is over? When can life go back to normal? When do I unpack my suitcases? It’s hard.
“Social distancing is hard, but it’s important.”
Fauquier Times reader Christina Fox had her own story to tell: “I went to Harris Teeter yesterday to do my weekly shopping. The meat department was sparse and I had a quick moment of panic because of the way people are responding to this situation. I'm more concerned about the reaction to the virus than I am of the virus.
“I felt the need to hoard the rest of the meat based on the limited amount that was left. However, common sense prevailed. While I went ahead and got a couple of extra, I stopped myself from buying a ridiculous amount.
“… I asked the butcher about the next shipment. He profusely apologized about the situation and said the store employees were doing the best they could under the circumstances. I don't feel store employees are getting enough credit. On a side note, a very kind woman offered me a pack of her toilet paper (she had four packs of four). I told her no thank you since a friend of ours brought us a couple of packs the day before from another county three hours away.”
Fox worries that hoarding is going to leave the community’s most vulnerable at risk.
“What about our senior citizens and other individuals on a fixed income? They can't afford to buy mass quantities of food and paper products and can only afford to shop week to week.”