BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - One year ago on January 20, 2020, the very first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the United States in Washington.
Public health officials say the end of the pandemic is still far off, but its impact is still being felt on a lot of families.
We have been in touch with Mellie Nese Dudley for a while now. She lost those two daughters to COVID during the summer, but that doesn’t mean the pain has gone away.
Recently, a celebration was held with a balloon release in Montgomery for Dr. Angela Lowery. Her birthday was this month. “One year ago, I had both of my girls. Then we find out about the virus. I lost both of my girls. It was so hard,” Dudley said. Her other daughter was Phyllis Floyd.
Many families have dealt with the pandemic. Some family members survived - others did not. A year ago, many folks didn’t have an understanding of just what this virus was.
“When she went into the hospital before the virus was known, they told her she had a bad case of bronchitis,” Dudley said.
While more vaccine is available, it will take a while to get enough people vaccinated to bring down the number of COVID cases.
“I really hope brighter days are ahead of us as we get more vaccine on the horizon,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.
The pain of the loss of her daughters is still with Dudley, and she wants people to get ready to take those COVID-19 vaccinations.
“When they said the vaccine was coming, I advised anybody of age or in the medical field please get the vaccine,” Dudley said.
The soon to be 79-year-old, Dudley plans to get her first shot of the vaccine this Friday.