Buena Vista family opens up about 'very, very scary’ challenges of having the coronavirus

Family members have a warning for anyone not taking the virus concerns seriously

BUENA VISTA, Va. – A Buena Vista family is pleading with everyone to take coronavirus concerns seriously.

Four of them have tested positive. They’re currently under quarantine and are talking to the Virginia Department of Health every day.

The conversation family members had with 10 News is another inside look at the challenges that come with getting the virus.

“It was a very, very scary time,” explained Debra Stinnett.

She felt sick for the first time on Sunday, March 22, and was tested a few days after that.

“My temperature started going up. The body aches and the pains hit on Monday really bad,” she said. “It was downhill from there.”

Stinnett was afraid she may give it to other family members who were more at-risk of severe symptoms.

“That was the hardest part. I didn’t want them to get sick,” she said. “People need to understand that this virus is serious. It was the worst sickness I’ve ever had.”

The good news, Stinnett is now doing better.

“I was really weak a couple of nights and not knowing if I was going to be even able to make it through the night,” she said.

At least three other family members got it, including her son, son-in-law and her husband -- who’s the last one dealing with symptoms right now.

He’s staying in bed, but they feel confident he’ll be okay.

The whole family is still in quarantine.

Stinnett said her daughter, Tabitha Martin, took care of everyone and has been her saving grace.

“It was very scary,” Martin said. “I also wanted to check on them and make sure that they were breathing okay, so that was very stressful, but we got through it.”

They’re thankful for the support they’ve gotten from other people in the area.

“It was really scary but the nice thing about this community is that we have so many people reaching out to us and saying that they’re praying for us and asking if we need anything,” Martin said.

Their best guess is that they’re the four Buena Vista cases currently showing up in the Virginia Department of Health statistics as of Monday.

They’re thankful their experiences weren’t worse, but they have a warning for anyone not taking this seriously.

“I just want everyone to know that this isn’t a vacation. We’re told to stay at home for a reason, and everyone out there needs to take it seriously. You don’t know if you’re carrying it. You don’t know if the person next to you is carrying it, and you need to be safe and smart,” Stinnett said.

The Stinnetts said they had not been traveling outside of Rockbridge County and don’t know how they got the virus.