BEAUMONT, Texas — While many are eager to get back to how life was before COVID-19, some are not sure that attaining that level of normalcy is possible anymore.
In the U.S., it began two years ago with a 35-year-old man from Washington who had recently returned from Wuhan, China. His positive COVID-19 case was the first one the Center for Disease Control and Prevention detected in the U.S.
From that day forward, the everyday norm and life as we know it changed for people nationwide.
Southeast Texas doctors said the change was not gradual, but all of a sudden and extremely terrifying.
“Once we had our first case, it wasn't like we were just sprinkled a little bit,” Dr. Ray Callus, Beaumont health professional, said. “We started getting hit with case after case. And then what we really started seeing is hospitalization started to soar. Then what was really scary, we started to see ICU patients start to soar.”
In the U.S. alone, more than 800,000 people have died due to COVID-19 related issues. On a global scale, the number is in the millions.
Health experts had to continuously re-evaluate how they cared for patients as the virus mutated into other variants. Doctors are still finding ways to treat those affected as cases continue to stress the medical system.
One Southeast Texas mother knows all too well about how the virus can fracture families and leave its victims hospitalized for months.
Missy Lowe’s son, Dre Lowe, was hospitalized after contracting MIS-C, a COVID-19 related illness. The mother said she does not know if life will ever be the same.
“It's changed everything because now he has heart problems, GI problems,” Missy Lowe said. “I don't think he will ever be the same. He has nerve damage on his feet. Whatever he contracted, which was the MIS-C, was definitely from COVID.”
Like many others, Missy Lowe is ready to return to a true sense of normalcy.
“For 2022, I am ready to see people’s faces,” she said. “I am ready for COVID to go away, um, I read auras. I love people. I am ready to go back to normal.”
Health experts said to return to normal, people must take necessary precautions like wearing masks and getting tested to help stop the spread.