"Our faith in God has been restored for some of us. We believe He's the reason she's still here," says Amanda Stocks from North Carolina, describing her family's response after her sister, Ginny Gardner, was hospitalized in October.
Gardner tested positive for coronavirus, followed by labored breathing, the Christian Post reported. For weeks, she was hooked to a ventilator at the Vidant Medical Center of Pitt County.
Stocks took care of Gardner while the rest of the family had to settle with Zoom calls in agreement with the standard health protocols. They would also make an effort to dine in restaurants near the hospital where Gardner is admitted. They may not physically see her, but the proximity of their presence suffices as support to Gardner as she battles the virus.
Not all days were smooth sailing, though. Stocks confessed that there were times when the family gets high on emotions to the point that they get on each other's nerves. Stocks couldn't help but ask God why he allowed this to happen to her sister in frustration. Nonetheless, they were able to come through the ordeal and were comforted upon learning Gardner's discharged from the hospital a few days before Christmas.
Though still in oxygen therapy, Gardner is doing great, says Stocks on her Jan 3 update on Facebook.
"We all got our Christmas miracle, and we will never forget all the kind words and prayers you all have said and given to and for our family," she added.
Having survived the crisis brought to them by COVID, Stocks encouraged people to take precautions. In an interview with local news outlet WNCT, she admitted her initial thought about the virus' threat was just an exaggeration.
"If you don't believe, you need to start believing... If you don't want to wear a mask, that's on you. But, stay at home. Don't carry out what could be deadly to someone else."
The North Carolina COVID dashboard revealed that as of Monday, the positive test rate for COVID-19 in the state spiked at an alarming 16.5%. New cases reported were at 5,187, while 3,635 were already in hospitals for monitoring and treatment. Statewide, there were already 6,941 deaths from the reported 570,111 COVID-19 cases.
To add light to all the confusion about the virus's fatality, the Pew Research Center shared their analysis in December. As per the Pew's analysis, COVID related deaths in rural areas are now on par with those in the urban. Between September and November, an average of three deaths daily occurs in less dense areas than the more concentrated neighborhoods, with 1.5 deaths each day.
Senior scholar Amesh Adalja from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security speculated that the disparity may be due to rural residents opting to still gather despite warnings and counsels from medical specialists, The Hill reported.
This shows that it won't hurt to apply safety measures like the imposed limited social gatherings and observe social distancing. While people of faith should not fear death, they still have to act as responsible citizens by being considerate of others, particularly their loved ones who may have weak immune systems.
As for Amanda Stocks and her family, God turned what could have been a devastating season in their lives into a testimony of faith.