JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - The coronavirus has hit close to home for Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore. His son, Gerrin, tested positive for the virus in March after a spring break trip to Florida.
The sophomore at Indiana University took a trip with some friends in early March, before any positive cases had hit southern Indiana.
“We got to the beach and there was still a big crowd and we started to hear murmurs that everything was going to get shut down,” he said. “At that point, we start realizing, ‘Okay, this might be a bigger deal than we think.’”
Gerrin Moore said the trip was cut a little short. He left midway through the week and went to stay with his mom, who lives in Florida. While he was there, he started to feel unwell.
“I start feeling a little tightness in my chest,” he described. “Nothing much but enough to make me think do i have it or not? From there I had upset stomach, felt pretty sore and was a lot more tired than I am usually.”
He was eventually tested and found out it was positive. Gerrin Moore said some of his friends tested positive too.
“We were hardly even at the beach and in that short span of time with all those people. I guess it was spreading like a wildfire down there,” he said.
His dad, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore, said when his son left for Florida, the virus still wasn't widespread in the U.S. so they weren't too concerned. It wasn't until after he left that things started to get more serious.
“It is gut wrenching,” Mike Moore said. “There’s nothing in parenting that’s going to prepare you for a virus that has a lot of unknowns.”
He said when he found out his son tested positive, there were a lot of emotions and nerves.
“I was incredibly nervous,” Mike Moore said. “You know, what will this mean for the health of him the rest of his life? Is there going to be any effects of this virus that’s going to impede him from being able to father children? I want grand kids. So, you know, to me I’m telling my kids all the time I want to be a granddad. That weighed on me quite a bit.”
Gerrin Moore quarantined and recovered in Florida. Doctors cleared him to return to Indiana in early April. He said it was hard to find flights that weren't cancelled, but he's grateful to be home.
“This is giving me the most time to be home in a year or two,” Gerrin Moore said. “It is nice to see the blessings when they do come in these tough times.”
Mike Moore says the virus impacted his daughter, Ally Moore, too, but in a different way; she had been in Europe for spring break and had trouble getting back.
Mike Moore said she had been in Ireland and took a couple of days to visit Barcelona, Spain. Around the time she was there, Barcelona became one of the hot spots for the virus. Ally Moore made it to Toronto but authorities kept her in the airport overnight after learning she had been in Spain.
“On one hand I’ve got a kid who has tested positive and on the other hand I’ve got a kid who is stuck in the Toronto airport,” Mike Moore said. “They kept her there overnight. She had been pic-pocketed in Europe and did not have any phone or credit cards.”
She eventually made it home and is healthy.
“It’s caused me a whole lot of grief and a few more gray hairs to come along,” Mike Moore said. “But again, it makes me even more thankful to know they are home with me now. I get to hug them and talk to them. They still do irritate me sometimes but I sure do love them.”
Gerrin Moore said he’s glad he recovered and he hopes others his age will take this seriously, too.
“I hardly felt the thing but I still had it and my symptoms were mild,” Gerrin Moore said. “So if you feel anything at all, you really need to take that precaution and stay away from people.”
“There’s no doubt about it our country is going through some really tough times right now,” Mike Moore said. “But after going through this experience I can tell you take the time to tell someone you love them because if this doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.”