Like most of the world, I read everyday how the Covid-19 virus is spreading and it seems so surreal. What makes it seem real now is that the virus has taken down a member of my family.

My cousin, Brian Taphouse, a 33 year old from Owosso has tested  positive for the virus. Making Brian the first known victim in Shiawassee County and at Owosso Memorial Healthcare.

According to members of my family, Brian came down with a cough about 5 days after he thought he may have been exposed. The cough was followed by a severe headache, then into a high fever. Sunday Brian drove himself (stubborn, a family trait) to the emergency room at Memorial. He was having severe breathing problems. The next day this 33-year-old man was sedated and put on a ventilator. Brian's health did not improve. He started bleeding from his nose, and hospital workers thought he was bleeding in his lungs. That is when he was air lifted to U of M hospital and relatives tell me he was put on a machine that would help his lungs heal.

It is not just the elderly who are at risk with this virus. It is now affecting people of all ages, my 33-year-old cousin is proof of that. Brian is in stable condition.

This is serious. Stay home, stay away from others, do not touch your face, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and while we are on the subject..WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WARM WATER. This can not be stressed enough. If for some reason you feel that you may have come in contact with someone with the Covid-19 virus, self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially exposing others.

Scientists say that this pandemic can be slowed down if people just take precautions, and also wipe down any surface you feel others may have come in contact with, and practice social distancing.

The number of coronavirus cases in Michigan has more than doubled in only a few days. We must be vigilant, take precautions, and BE SAFE.

Thank you for the prayers for my family. I will pass those on.

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