GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro mom is ringing the alarm for those parents pushing to have children return to school amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"I used to say open the schools...Never in a million years would I have guessed we'd be dealing with my husband fighting for his life with COVID-19 in the hospital. His lungs are struggling bad! He's waiting to get a plasmas transfusion. Please!!!! everyone wear your MASK!!! Stay home, if you can!!" Holly Michelle Veth wrote to WFMY News 2.
Veth was reacting to the approval of 2 new virtual academies for Guilford County Schools as an option to in-person learning. The announcement of the virtual learning alternative comes as school districts across the state await a final decision from Roy Cooper on whether and how schools will reopen in the fall.
"You don't know how this virus will attack you or the next! You could be walking around with no symptoms, but spreading it to others that it might affect them severely. We use to say, 'Oh it's not that serious. Oh, we don't need to wear a mask, we're never sick! We're healthy, we wash our hands. We won't catch it!' Man, (were) we wrong," Veth said.
She is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test she took after she began to experience symptoms.
Veth's teenage children have also quarantined themselves in their bedrooms and her stepdaughter has tested positive for the virus but yet has no symptoms. Her father-in-law who just survived a bout with colon cancer has had to return to the hospital to battle COVID-19.
"This virus reacts differently to everyone! Me? I have absolutely no sense of smell and cough. My husband's daughter tested positive for COVID but has absolutely no symptoms. I am still waiting on my girls' test results, but so far they're showing no symptoms or signs. That's what's so scary!! You can be walking around with it, passing it to people that might kill them! Stay home, wear your mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sanitize your car and house daily! Please pray for my husband. Pray he gets better and he comes home to his family! " she added.
Veth said she wants to raise awareness and has taken to her Facebook to post about her family's COVID-19 experience.
"I cannot express how serious this virus is! I didn't think it was that serious at first! Man, was I wrong! This virus is so unpredictable, how it's going to affect you or the next! I know we feel we have to live life and live in the moment; but what if you catch it while living in the moment and pass it to someone you love, that will not survive this virus? Think about your family! Do you want people passing it to them? Please, don't be selfish!! If we can all just stay home long enough to stop the spread!!," she urged in her Facebook post.
"I'm begging people to please listen and wear your mask and keep your hands clean and stay home!! You don't know who has the virus or how your body will take it! It's also very important to get sun! Being outside helps with your immune system! If you're a smoker, you're going to get hit hard with this virus and I pray you don't catch it! I was not taking it that serious and now I'm living it! It wakes you up for sure!" continued Veth.
Veth who later spoke to WFMY News 2 in an interview, Wednesday warned that parents clamoring for schools to re-open without health officials first getting a handle of the rising cases are gambling with lives.
"I just want them to wake up and realize how serious this virus is. The symptoms might be mild like mine or just have nothing but their mom and their dad their kid might not be in the same boat. They might end up in the ICU or on a ventilator and pass away," she warned.
"I worry about all the kids who are going to go to school and catch it and take it home to a family member that’s not going to survive it and they’re going to be without a mom, without a dad, without a grandparent, or a grandfather or aunt or uncle."
As the rest of the Veth family awaits their results, they and continue to hope and pray for the full recovery of their loved ones as they remain confined to their home.