‘It was terrifying,’ one of first Vigo County residents to be diagnosed with COVID-19, reflects nearly a year later

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VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On March 6, Indiana will mark one year since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the state.

Around that same time, Vigo County was soon to confirm its first case.

Vigo County resident Lauren Dulay was one of the first in the area to be diagnosed with the illness. She called it a terrifying time.

“The first few months were a little difficult because the symptoms lingered for a long time. But since then, I’ve recovered and I feel mostly back to normal,” Dulay said.

According to Dulay, there are after effects from the virus that she’s still working through.

“Strenuous exercise. Whereas before, I was able to do it more easily and so now it’s just working back up and getting to that level again,” she said.

Also around this time last year, government leaders were getting ready to make some tough decisions when it came to the pandemic.

“Recognizing my position, I had to be focused,” said Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns.

Kearns was one of many local leaders looking for the best way to protect the community.

“We were basically building as we went along. The key things is that we wanted to make sure that we were responding appropriately not to cause panic,” he said.

That resulted in closing down government buildings, finding ways to keep employees working, and listening to health leaders on how to respond.

From mask making, to food donating Kearns said the pandemic showed the importance of coming together.

School Corporation, city and county government, faith-based communities were a massive part in helping. Good hearted people who wanted to volunteer,” Kearns said.

According to Dulay, she’s grateful she survived.

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