Kansas City families put national COVID-19 death toll into perspective

Survivors who have lost loved ones warn neighbors
Posted at 5:23 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 19:19:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City resident Stacy Jackson says she has a new outlook on life after she survived a severe case of COVID-19: "Every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast."

"I remember them saying they might have to put me on a ventilator. I shook my head no," she recalls from her time in the hospital. She beat the virus, but she lost her uncle, whose name is on her face mask as she continues her recovery.

"My family and I, we have vowed we’ll continue to remain somewhat quarantined to the best of our ability," Jackson said Thursday.

In Lenexa, Joanna Wilson says she had a less severe case of the virus, exhibiting symptoms for five weeks.

"I just had to stay home through all this, which made grieving a lot harder and loneliness a lot bigger," said Wilson, who has been grieving the loss of her husband, Dennis, Johnson County's first COVID-19 fatality.

"We’re about to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, which would’ve been in June. We didn’t quite make it," she said.

The Wilson and Jackson families are just some of the many families in the United States touched by a pandemic that has pushed the country's death toll to a grim milestone: 100,000 deaths.

It's a mark these local families want their neighbors to take seriously.

"I just want to take people and say, do you need a family member or close friend to have succumbed to this before you realize you should be more careful?" Wilson said.

"Life as normal is no longer there," Jackson said. "We used to do things, it’s no longer there, we need to stop thinking it is. 100,000 lives? Oh my. That’s a lot."