Editor, Times-Union:

My husband of 50 years passed away on April 5, 2020, of the COVID-19 virus. So far, his death was the first (and I pray only) death in Kosciusko County.

Please know that this is a monstrous thing. He had relatively mild symptoms for a week or so. The second week, he grew more and more tired and lost his appetite. On Friday, April 3, he was tested at the respiratory center. On Palm Sunday, he got up in the morning, ate some applesauce and an egg and laid down to rest just before noon. When he awoke a little before 3 p.m., he couldn't breathe. I drove him to the Kosciusko Community Hospital ER, he walked in, sat in a wheelchair, was taken back to be examined, and two hours later he was dead. I received the news that he tested positive for COVID on Tuesday, April 7 early in the morning.

Everyone involved has been so kind. I want to thank Dr. Mansfield and the staff of the ER that night for their gentle treatment. The health department investigation was also very considerate. My church family (St. Anne's) and good neighbors have been lovingly supportive beyond words. These are strange times indeed.

It is important that everyone take this very seriously. My husband was out and about town the week before his symptoms and we have no idea how he contracted it. Please take precautions for yourselves. Wear a mask when you go out and wash, wash, wash your hands. The peak in Indiana is yet to come and the dreaded virus is in our midst. God bless the scientists working night and day to find treatments and a vaccine to protect us when the next outbreak happens.

I believe our local and state mandates for mitigating the virus have been appropriate and necessary, but I can't help but think that if the same precautions had been taken earlier from a federal level with true federal coordination, possibly with someone like Bill Gates in charge, fewer people would have lost their lives. We are the UNITED States of America. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many ONE.

If you disagree with me, I just ask that you please have enough respect to refrain from lashing out on this forum.

Pam Nichols

Warsaw, via emailCOVID-19