Florida reaches 700K cases as Phase 3 reopening begins; survivors say governor should rethink his decision

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Florida is wrapping up its first weekend of Phase 3 reopening as it surpasses 700,000 coronavirus cases.

Some survivors say opening bars and restaurants may not be the best idea. One claims they got COVID-19 at the bar.

“My sister turned 21 during quarantine and she begged me to go to the bars with her when they re-opened,” said Christi Dipaolo. “I made a stupid decision to go to a bar with my sister.”

A decision Dipaolo will have to pay for for the rest of her life. She was used to dealing with asthma but now, she has to deal with a multitude of other symptoms.

“Joint pain, nerve pain, muscle pain, headaches. I have to take a bunch of different medications to help with the pain,” Dipaolo said. Dipaolo has also been hospitalized twice for blood clots in her lung.

“They told me my immune system is really weak, so I have a chance of getting other illnesses too,” she said.

Marilyn Santiago had a friend who contracted COVID-19. Both of these survivors say although they survived the virus, it’s still wreaking havoc on their lives.

“In my case, I’m sad to say that last night I lost a really good friend and he was 53 years old,” Santiago said. “He had no other conditions, he was not ill, he just had COVID. The COVID killed him in three days.”

The danger and how you can succumb to the symptoms all of a sudden are just part of the reason Dipaolo and Santiago don’t agree with Governor DeSantis’ decision to reopen bars and restaurants at 100% capacity.

“Think very carefully before you decide to go to a bar,” Dipaolo said. “I had fun with my sister while we were there, but I entirely regret it. If I could go back and change it I would.”

Santiago says having it hit close to home changes your perspective on the pandemic as a whole. “If you didn’t have it close to you. If somebody close to you didn’t get it or you don’t know anybody that has suffered from here if you like it was just a hoax,” she said.

Both women are asking you to rethink going to the bar. If you do decide to do so, they recommend wearing a mask and social distancing.

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