Positive COVID-19 cases are continuing to climb in San Diego County and some COVID-19 survivors are worried about the virus’s spread.
Chula Vista resident Carol Althoff lost her fiancé, Derik Williams, to COVID-19 in July. Four months later, she said she’s mourning his loss and still dealing with lingering symptoms from her own bout with the coronavirus.
"[The increase in cases] gives me anxiety, because you think more families are going through what I went through, and am still going through, and that breaks my heart,” said Althoff as she reminisced on her time spent with Williams.
Williams, 55, was a well-known Spartan Race athlete, father of four and grandfather.
“I absolutely miss the companionship of Derik,” Althoff told NBC 7 on Monday.
Althoff said she’s still recovering emotionally and sees a counselor to help cope with the loss of Williams. She’s also facing challenges transitioning from a two-person income to one and had hours cut at work because of the pandemic. In addition, Althoff said she’s still dealing with lingering symptoms from being infected with COVID-19 in July.
“My experience was very minor compared to Derik,” Althoff said.
Althoff said her symptoms – a cough, low-grade fever and fatigue -- only lasted five days. but she also lost her sense of smell and hasn’t gotten it back.
Althoff said she’s hoping her experience leaves a lasting impression on others, especially going into the holiday season, when she fears cases will only increase.
“Somebody else might say, ‘You know what, we better make some new plans for Thanksgiving. We better protect grandma’, You know? Better safe than sorry," Althoff said. "You don’t want to be the reason that this person isn’t allowed for Christmas or New Year's. We all want to see New Year’s Day 2021.”