Keith Taylor mug

The coronavirus hit home last week.

I’ve been reporting and covering the COVID-19 pandemic since it tightened its grip on this state and great country last March. At first I didn’t know anyone who had been infected with the virus that has crippled most of the nation.

Then slowly, the coronavirus began to hit closer to home as people I knew had become stricken with the virus and most of my Facebook feed included several followers who tested positive as the case count in Madison County began to rise this month.

Nearly two weeks ago, my step-dad Kenneth Reed tested positive for the coronavirus and my mom began experiencing symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19. Late last week, our family had enough and my sister and niece called and had mom transported by ambulance from her home to St. Joseph’s in Berea.

I didn’t hear about mom being admitted until Friday morning because I had went to bed earlier than usual on Thursday night. I made a post on Facebook about mom and immediately people sent their thoughts, prayers and good vibes our way. We certainly needed them that morning, every single one of them.

Around mid-morning on Friday, I received a call from Eleanor Buckley at WLEX-TV (Channel 18) in Lexington asking if I wanted to do an interview and I gladly agreed to share our family story. Eleanor did a great job on the story, which was the top story on the 5:30 p.m. newscast.

On the other side of the fence, I shared with Eleanor our story and expressed our optimism, our faith in God and mom’s dependence upon prayer in time of need. During the course of the interview, it hit me that mom, Kenneth and step-grandmother Eva Reed were one of those numbers that Governor Andy Beshear and the Madison County Health Department had been reporting on both a weekly and daily basis.

The threat of the virus became more real once it hit close to home and in our family. The hardest part has been not being able to go see mom, but I have kept in touch via phone calls and social media.

Those who have or had COVID-19 are not just numbers, they are human beings, some of them your own family members. That’s when you know it’s the real deal.

The staff at St. Joseph’s in Berea are taking good care of mom and she is on the mend, as are the rest of the family members who have the virus. I’m thankful for the prayers and for knowledge and treatment methods the medical experts have learned over the past month to help treat and fight an invisible enemy.

When it attacks close to home, that’s when you know it’s real.

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