Saturday marks 1 year since the 1st COVID-19 death was reported in Tri-State

Saturday marks 1 year since the 1st COVID-19 death was reported in Tri-State

HOPKINS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - More than 1,500 people across the Tri-State have deaths connected to COVID-19.

The first of those was confirmed one year ago Saturday. It was a case out of Hopkins County.

This number would grow exponentially.

Terry Anderson was a healthy 59-year-old man. Seven months have now gone by since he passed away from COVID-19.

“Anywhere I go, I go by myself,” Angela Anderson shared. “If I come home, nobody is waiting on me. But I think that’s true with anyone who has lost a spouse.”

The Owensboro father of six was just a few years short of retirement.  He and Angela were looking forward to the rest of their lives. Now, she says, loneliness lingers.

“I think there are worst days than others; they’re all bad because he’s not here,” Angela described. “Everything we had planned, we planned as a family.”

More than 6,000 people across Kentucky, like Terry, have died in connection to the coronavirus. Nearly 10% of that number are from our western Kentucky counties.

Hopkins County Judge Executive Jack Whitfield recalls the phone call he received from the health department a year ago.

“My heart just sank because while we suspected it was coming, it was still largely unknown,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield says vaccinations are pushing forward. He states that Hopkins County remains among one of the top counties across the state with residents signing up.

“I think, even though we’ve bounced into the red a time or two, because of the vaccination rate here — I think we will continue to see a positive downward trend on new cases,” Whitfield added.

Angela admits she knows some people may be undecided on getting the shot, but she also knows the pain this pandemic has caused.

“There are things we do every day that are scary,” Anderson stated. “To me, what this can do to you or your family is a lot more concerning to me than that vaccine.”

In just a few days, she will get her initial dose.

“I’ve got my appointment next Wednesday to get my first shot in the series for the vaccine — I wish he had been here to get his,” Anderson softly smiled.

Angela also shared with 14 News that she is part of grief group for other widows like herself.

In our part of Indiana, more than 875 people have succumbed to the virus during the pandemic so far.

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