By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
For one mother and daughter from the Wolftown Community, their bouts with COVID-19 were challenging. Kayla Arch and her daughter, Genevieve Raya, both members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently tested positive for COVID-19 and went through a period of isolation and quarantine in their home.
“I have always thought, overall, COVID needs to be taken more seriously,” said Arch. “As someone who had COVID, I strongly suggest everyone start taking this virus more seriously. I think we opened our home to everyone here in Cherokee too soon, and I think we have not seen all that is to come.”
She was not hospitalized but did suffer from many of the common symptoms of COVID including fever, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, loss of appetite, body aches, chills, and sweats.
Raya, a student at Swain East Elementary, suffered with a cough, fever, and fatigue. “It was boring being isolated, but I was able to communicate with my classmates on my Chromebook.”
Being quarantined presented additional challenges for the family including routine tasks that had to be done by others including paying bills, picking up medications, and getting groceries.
Arch’s 17-year-old son, Donnavin Groenewold, lives with them and tested negative. He had to isolate from his mother and sister and related the situation was terribly hard.
Arch admonishes community members to take the virus seriously. “With the holidays approaching, I hope everyone takes the appropriate precautions to protect their families. I personally do not want to get COVID again. I think there are still plenty of kinks needing to be worked out including how positive and exposed cases are released from monitoring.”
The virus has affected others in Arch’s family. “I have seen personally how this virus can affect a family, and it isn’t something I want anyone else to go through. My immediate family had five total positive cases including multiple homes quarantining. It was not easy for us to make some of the decisions we did, but everything had to be done due to being quarantined and in isolation.”
She adds, “My feeling about COVID has only gotten stronger as far as I will always want and do what’s best for my children. They are my first priority. We have not gone on vacation. We do not travel unless we have to, and that has only been for appointments. We try to only eat at home even if that means taking our food to go. I will continue to do what I need in hopes that we do not go through all of this again.”