94-Year-Old Woman in Georgia Recovers From Coronavirus in Time For Birthday, Will Celebrate With Vodka Tonic

A 94-year-old woman from DeKalb County, Georgia, was released from hospital after recovering from COVID-19 in time to celebrate her 95th birthday with her family.

Jean Yancy fell ill with COVID-19 in her assisted living center, her daughters told FOX 5 Atlanta. She had been staying at the center for five years when she contracted the virus early last month.

Yancy was transferred to Emory University Hospital on March 11, where she was treated for COVID-19. The hospital's nurses helped her through the worst days of isolation.

After weeks of isolation with the illness, she was allowed home on April 13, where she able to see her daughters for the first time in a while, FOX 5 Atlanta reports.

When asked how it felt to be allowed out of hospital, Yancy expressed relief. "Oh, hallelujah! I knew the kids were going to take care of me," she told reporters.

Yancy is currently staying with her daughters in Canton, who say she is completing exercises and getting better as each hour passes.

"When I first started feeling bad, I thought I was gonna die. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see anything," she told FOX 5 Atlanta. "I was in another world."

Yancy told FOX 5 Atlanta she now feels pretty good and the dark days are gone. "There is hope at the end of the tunnel," she said. "You can't just give up."

The road to recovery comes just in time for her 95th birthday, which takes place on April 25. Yancy told her daughters she would like to mark the occasion with a vodka tonic.

"Yes ma'am, she's going to get one," said daughter Dotty Bonds. "Maybe a little bitty one but she's going to get one."

Bonds told the channel staff at the center did a wonderful job and followed all guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But sometimes, no matter what you do, you can get sick," Bonds said.

Emory University Hospital
Exteriors of Emory University Hospital on February 4, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Jean Yancy was treated at Emory University Hospital when she fell ill with COVID-19 in March. John E. Davidson/Getty

According to a daily status update from the Georgia Department of Public Health, published on April 20, 2020, there have been 19,398 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Georgia since the outbreak began. Of those, almost 20 percent (3,702) required hospitalization and 774 patients have died from the new coronavirus.

The same day the update was published, Georgia's Governor announced plans to begin reopening of businesses as early as this week.

Gov. Brian Kemp—who earlier this month said he did not realize asymptomatic carriers could spread COVID-19—introduced a shelter-in-place order on April 2,when the number of confirmed cases in the state passed 4,000.

Kemp has said the decision to reopen certain services—including gyms, beauty salons, bowling alleys and barber shops—follows a flattening of the curve in terms of the number of cases diagnosed. The easing of restrictions includes reopening theaters, private social clubs and dine-in restaurants by the end of the month, Newsweek reported.

The decision has been controversial. Dr. Dena Grayson, an Infectious Disease Medical Doctor, said: "In the absence of MASSIVE testing and contact tracing, this is incredibly foolish."

🚨Today, #Georgia had 790 new #coronavirus cases and 52 deaths from #COVID19, yet @GovKemp plans to reopen businesses where *close personal contact* is critical to the business being conducted.

In the absence of MASSIVE testing and contact tracing, this is incredibly foolish. https://t.co/bSHUTcYK2H

— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@DrDenaGrayson) April 20, 2020

Stacey Abrams—a Democrat and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, who ran for governor of Georgia in 2018—described the decision as "dangerously incompetant."

Georgia: 14th highest infection/7th lowest testing rate; less econ resilient & 1000s of low-wage workers already forced to risk their lives to make a living. Weakened healthcare w/closed rural hospitals, no Medicaid expansion & a doctor shortage. Reopen? Dangerously incompetent. https://t.co/FFfk9EoN3l

— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 20, 2020

A number of other states, including South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, have also announced plans to relax quarentine measures.

The infographic below from Statista shows the countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 20, 2020 9 a.m. EST.

Countries COVID-19 Cases
A chart showing the countries with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 20, 2020, 9 a.m. ET. Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.