Truitt’s story shows there is another side to COVID-19

Published 4:43 pm Monday, April 6, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to interrupt the everyday lives of Troup County residents and people throughout the country. As most of us continue to practice social distancing by self-isolating, either by ourselves or with family, there is good news that this pandemic isn’t going to last forever.

Take Gayle Truitt, for example.

We have written two stories about this Troup County woman who teaches in the Meriwether County School System. Her story is one that’s real and may reflect what is happening with many people who have contracted COVID-19.

When the virus first started to spread throughout the United States, many of us heard that elderly people and those with underlying health conditions were the target population for COVID-19 to do the most damage. While that remains true, we know that those aren’t the only ones who can be severely affected by this illness.

Truitt is a 45-year-old woman with a relatively clean health history who teaches elementary school. She felt perfectly fine one week and then spent the next month in the hospital and at home because COVID-19 took everything she had to lift a fork to eat.

We learned from Gayle’s experience, which doesn’t apply to everybody, that the early stages of COVID-19 can be more of a rollercoaster ride. Truitt said she felt fine one day as if nothing was wrong, and then the next, she felt horrible.

During the late stages of recovery, she also had some days that were better than others.

However, the main point to take away from her experience is that she made it to the other side. We wrote this past Friday that Truitt was out of isolation and is no longer considered contagious.

That doesn’t mean she’s going out in public and seeing everyone she knows to pass out hugs. She plans to continue to social distance herself from other people. Some of that is because she doesn’t want to get sick again. Additionally, the best way to stop the spread is by staying at home.

We know people are starting to go a little stir-crazy in their homes and are looking for excuses to go to the grocery store. However, we must remember the more people who are outside touching surfaces, the bigger the risk of the spread of the virus. And as long as this virus continues to spread, the more we have to keep social distancing.

The other part to remember in all this is that stopping the spread of the virus isn’t just about keeping yourself safe from getting sick. It’s about not overwhelming our hospitals. We wish that no one in our community had a medical emergency in the next few weeks, as this virus continues to take its toll on our health system. However, we know that’s very unlikely to be the case. The issue is, if our hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, that emergency could receive less attention than it needs. That would be a bad situation for everyone involved.

For those with the illness or if you’ve been exposed and awaiting results, we hope you take Truitt’s story and know there is another side to the illness for many people. And for those who have experienced a loss due to COVID-19, you have our deepest sympathies.

Let’s all do our best to make sure the total number of deaths stays as low as possible in Troup County.