Christina Burr Klespies originally posted the following to her Facebook page
on Sunday, and has graciously allowed the Chesterton Tribune to
re-print it as a guest column. Klespies did so, she told the Tribune,
because she wants folks to understand that COVID-19 is stalking the
community, that it's highly contagious, and that masking is an easy and
effective way to keep oneself and one's family safe.
By CHRISTINA BURR
This is about my
son from Chesterton High School and his friends. I decided to go public
about this story to educate others.
If you donít know
anyone who tested positive for COVID-19. . .now you do!
(Itís a long, but
While some of my
friends already know, my son had COVID-19. I wasnít going to share
everything publicly, but as I continue to see my friends post pictures of
groups, vacations, their kids playing sports (unmasked), etc.--it now makes
me cringe--and I feel it necessary to share our story.
My son and his
friends (like most seniors this summer) were making their rounds each
weekend to graduation parties. Largely these were outdoors, and they were
A neighboring high
school had parents who organized a prom event (unsanctioned by the high
school). This prom was attended by a couple hundred kids at the Expo Center
on a Wednesday night. To our knowledge, the kids were not masked. . . But as
you can imagine, they were likely dancing close, sweating, riding in cars
together, attending ďafter-partiesĒ together, etc.
My son did not
attend this prom, but several of his friends did. Most of his friends who
attended the prom were exposed to a person with COVID-19.
All it took was one
of those students (who did not know they were exposed) to attend a
graduation party three days later. That person, in turn, exposed more
people, including my son and his friends. Of the 20 kids at the after-party,
more than almost 75 percent became infected with COVID-19.
Hereís where this
virus is unrelenting. Not knowing they were exposed, approximately seven of
them went on a camping trip out of state with a parent two days after the
grad party. (So riding together in a car together with the windows up for
five hours each way, sharing tents, etc.)
All came home with
symptoms and within days of each other, all tested positive for COVID-19,
including the parent on the trip.
Another group who
was unknowingly exposed at the grad party also made a trip (but 2.5 hours
away from the other group), and to my knowledge all members of that group
also came home positive.
Hereís why Iím
telling you all this: I can now testify to the power of masking and the
rapid-fire spread of this virus.
When my son and his
friends returned from the camping trip (with symptoms) he and two of his
friends isolated at my house. Within days, they all three tested positive.
For 10 days, I cared for the boys, doing temperature checks, dispensing
medicine, cooking meals, cleaning, etc. We used lots of Lysol wipes, hand
sanitizer, and Lysol spray. I masked whenever I had any contact and so did
the boys. They isolated to separate bedrooms, separate bathrooms, and shared
a dining space separate from mine. My husband did not have any exposure to
my son or his friends (since before their exposure) so my husband isolated
on his own and was not in contact with the kids.
thought, with caring for COVID-positive people, I would surely contract this
virus. The odds were not in my favor. I volunteered to take the boys in,
though, because I have no other children at home, and didnít want the other
kids to expose their families. Iím happy to report, through steadfast
masking, social distancing, and sanitizing. I have received two negative
tests and have had zero symptoms.
The boys are all
recovered now and have checked out of my ďHotel COVID."
It wasnít a fun
experience, but very educational and surely opened all of our eyes to the
rampant spread of this virus. Unfortunately, because of exposure at a prom
(that somehow parents thought would be a good idea without masks and social
distancing), we now have over 50 teens infected in our county just in the
last few weeks, and it has also spread to parents.
PLEASE MASK UP! It
can happen to you and it can happen to your kids. And worse, you could
infect your grandparents and vulnerable populations. With the symptoms I
have seen, they most likely wouldnít fare well.
Please share this
story. People need to know they are not exempt, that the virus is not a
hoax, and masking is not a political statement! Protect yourself, your
family, and your community!
PS: PLEASE do not
social-shame those who test positive. Unfortunately, that was a harsh
reality for my son and their friends. Be kind.