Jacksonville woman shares family COVID story to help save lives

Keturiah Baker says four people in her family tested positive for COVID-19 in May. Sadly, her mother died.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the omicron variant enters the U.S., more people are worried about the contagious variant.

A Jacksonville woman says the omicron variant reminds her of what happened to her family in May. She says she hopes people will read her story and get tested if they aren’t well.

Keturiah Baker says she and her mother, Joyce Baker, traveled to Baltimore in May to celebrate her niece’s graduation. The Baker family returned to Jacksonville days later and they all tested positive for COVID-19.

“On the way coming back, my mom said that she didn’t want to get on the flight because the flight was very crowded,” Keturiah Baker said.

“As a result of that… we ended up contracting COVID… me, my son, my brother and my mother,” she said.

Keturiah Baker, her son and her brother recovered.

Joyce Baker, Keturiah Baker’s mother, didn’t. She died days after testing positive.

“Losing my mother was a shock… very unexpected,” Keturiah Baker said.

“Like the pastor said, it was unexpected but she was prepared,” she said.

Doctors say with the new strain of COVID, people should get vaccinated and test for COVID if you have symptoms.

“So far, it seems that the cases we’re seeing with omicron are not as severe and certainly the cases we’re seeing of omicron with people who have been vaccinated don’t appear to result in hospitalizations,” said Dr. Michael Koren, of ENCORE Research Group.

Dr. Koren said he advises that people take precautions because there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the virus.

Meanwhile, Keturiah Baker is telling her story to inspire more people to pay attention to the virus.

“A lot of people think COVID is still not real… you know a lot of people don’t want to wear their mask… a lot of people say oh it’s just a flu when people are out here dying,” she said.

“I don’t know how long this virus is going to be here, but as long as it is here, we have to fight,” said Baker.

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