As the Omincron variant spreads, scores of Sanpete residents, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, are coming down with the virus.
Several Sanpete families and individuals shared stories about their experiences with COVID with the Messenger. Most requested their names be withheld.
Russell Wilkins family in Ephraim
The week before Thanksgiving, Dmitry, age 6, son of Russell and Connally Wilkins of Ephraim, had a fever and cold symptoms.
Dmitry was the only family member going out a lot, as Russell worked at home and the older kids were doing school online. The family isn’t sure where Dmitry got the virus.
A week later, Thanksgiving weekend, the rest of the family came down with fevers and cold symptoms.
The Wilkins family thought they were just getting colds, until Russell, who was working on remodeling the old Ephraim jail, opened some paint thinner and realized he couldn’t smell anything.
The family was tested, and all came back COVID positive, except Dmitry, who was by then over the virus.
Russell and Conally were both fully vaccinated, but the children were not.
The family cancelled Thanksgiving plans and enjoyed a “tasteless” holiday. The only lasting effect was that Russell said it took him awhile to get his energy and motivation back, so their remodeling project won’t be done until mid-February, probably. They wanted to be done by Christmas.
They faced other challenges created by not being able to go outside the home and get building materials and supplies. An extended family member also got the virus from Connally during a family visit (before any symptoms manifested), and that family got COVID as well.
A Manti family’s battle with COVID began on New Year’s Eve, when their six-year-old daughter, who was already fighting a double ear infection and urinary tract infection, got COVID. The seven-year-old daughter also got it, had a fever and was fatigued.
By Tuesday, Jan. 4, the six-year-old’s eyes were sunken and she was unresponsive, “She looked lifeless,” said the mother. She was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, and after about 12 hours of IV therapy and medications, her vitals stabilized and she came home.
About the same time, both the mother and father came down with COVID. The mother had not been vaccinated because of her pregnancy. Because the father had been vaccinated, he could continue to work based on his company’s policy, with precautions. He said, “For two weeks I had a sore throat, and it felt like the worst cold I’ve ever had.”
The family also had a new baby, and the mother didn’t have enough energy to get out of bed. That meant the dad had to go work for a few hours and come home to take care of the kids, then go back when he felt well enough.
“Another challenge was, who do we ask to come help us?” the mom said. “We couldn’t ask anyone, because we had COVID. At least we were prepared with paper plates and products, stacked about three feet high, because we just couldn’t do dishes.”
The father was feeding the baby and began to go talk incoherently. He wouldn’t let go of the baby when the mother tried to take it. Eventually the mother got the baby, and the father slid to the floor and became unresponsive. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital, where it was determined he was severely dehydrated and had a very low blood count. He was released later that day.
A Gunnison family’s battle with COVID began three days after Christmas, when the forty-year-old mom started feeling like she was coming down with a cold. She wasn’t even thinking that it was COVID because she had been fully vaccinated, including receiving her booster shot.
By New Year’s Eve, the mom was struggling to breathe and was taken to Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi. After being admitted and testing positive, she was given IV therapy and spent the next three days in the hospital.
As most moms would be, she was very worried about her three teenagers at home along with her husband, none of whom had received their vaccinations. “I was sure that my youngest daughter (age 13) would for sure come down with it, as we had shared a straw on Christmas Eve,” the mom said.
Feeling very blessed, this mom said that nobody else in the family came down with any symptoms. It was probably a good thing, she mentioned, because it took so much out of her that even the simple task of walking to another room was difficult.
Manti man has mild case
A Manti man began to feel a “cold coming on” and after a couple of days, he decided to get tested. He had been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot as well. He was surprised when his test came back positive for COVID. His wife never had any symptoms, and tested negative for the virus.
After the quarantine period, and with symptoms gone, the man returned to work. He believed he had a mild case because he had been vaccinated.
In South Sanpete, a family of five with COVID had each family member experiencing different things. The family’s married son and wife had recently tested positive on a Monday morning. He said that he just “felt yuck” over the weekend and thought that he had strep throat.
Following their positive tests, the mother, who lives in a separate home, felt like she should be tested after being in contact with them several times, and her test came back negative.
By the next morning she felt like she had the flu, with achy joints, headache and extreme fatigue, and went to be tested again, receiving a positive test result less than 24 hours after the first test.
In their home out of five people, two were not vaccinated and three were. Two that were and one that wasn’t tested positive. Since they were already “staying home,” the others chose not to be tested and had minor to no symptoms.
The symptoms and complications lasted roughly five or six days, and they were able to be back to normal activities the following week.