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Like the rest of the family, my grandchildren William, Tilleigh and Evie, from left, understand the importance of wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic. / Contributed photo by Karen Nazor Hil

My life, like yours, has changed dramatically because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Several weeks ago, before our state started opening back up, my husband, Hank, and others in my family were safely quarantined. We were all tucked away safely at our homes, away from the virus that was claiming many lives around the world every day.

I'm fortunate that my daughter and her three children live next door, which means I get to see my grandchildren every day, outside our homes. Even though we practiced social distancing, I have not been isolated from them since this began, thankfully.

We've been getting our groceries via curbside service since March and only recently have we ventured out to a few medical appointments and an occasional trip to hardware stores and plant nurseries for curbside pickup.

We continue to follow the guidance of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Kristopher Nazor, proteogenomics program manager at BioLegend, a San Diego, California-based company that develops "world-class, cutting-edge antibodies and reagents for biomedical research," according to biolegend.com.

Dr. Nazor, a.k.a. "Kit," is my son, and he is involved in the COVID-19 vaccine research.

While I pay close attention to the news updates about coronavirus and how it's affecting not only Americans all over the country but particularly here in Hamilton County, I also listen to my very smart and loving son.

A graduate of Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Kit received his doctorate at Scripps Research in LaJolla, California. He's had many papers published in respected scientific journals and has led monumental research. And, very importantly, he's well-versed in COVID-19.

In February, Kit called me late one afternoon with specific instructions to get prepared for a pandemic. My son told me about the dangers of COVID-19 before the government told Americans.

In no uncertain terms, Kit, who lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters, told me that if Hank and I were to contract it, based on our ages (71 and 67, respectively), there would be a good chance we'd die. And if we got sick, he wouldn't be able to see us because we would be quarantined. He told me that the country would eventually be quarantined and that we should not leave our property.

He said we should stock up on groceries (namely dry goods and foods that store well), medicine, etc. We should disinfect any mail or packages that come to our house and not allow anyone, including family, into our home.

Kit told me this nearly two months before the government told Americans.

Everything my son said that late afternoon has come true.

But what he didn't say is that the government would "open up" too soon and the virus would spread and worsen as a result. But the same rules he told me then hold true now, except nowadays my husband is back at work.

As a criminal-defense attorney, he has many clients who need him. The courts have reopened — with precautions, thankfully. Everyone entering the courthouse has their temperature taken, and the use of masks and hand sanitizer is a must. Only people involved in cases are allowed in the building.

My husband's office is closed to the public. All interaction is done over the phone or FaceTime.

If anyone not wearing a mask approaches him on his trek from his office to the courthouse, he refuses to converse with them and makes sure they don't get close.

Do you want to know why my husband does this? He does this because he doesn't want to contract COVID-19 and bring it home to me. He doesn't want us to die.

So when people opt to not wear a mask and take the chance of contracting and passing along a disease to us, it makes us mad. Their negligence could kill my husband and me and deprive our family of years of our love and devotion.

Sadly, many people choose to not wear masks for selfish and political reasons. The virus is not political. I'm willing to bet that if they or someone they love contracts COVID-19, they would change their minds. Maybe.

Many of the anti-mask people don't believe scientists. I daresay these people take prescribed medications for health conditions, have had surgery or received treatments for cancer or other illnesses, thanks to the research of scientists.

I listen to Dr. Fauci. He's a brilliant man. And I listen to my son, also a brilliant man. He loves his family, so he wears a mask. My husband loves his family, so he wears a mask. If you don't wear a mask, what does that say about you? If you don't want to protect yourself, please protect others around you by wearing a mask. Please. I don't want you to die either.

Email Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfreepress.com.

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