5 members of gospel-singing family get COVID-19 after virtual concert
Multiple members of the Jones family were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms in July after recording together.
In Texas, a family who performs gospel music together contracted COVID-19 after recording a virtual concert for fans this summer.
According to CNN, five family members of The Jones Family Singers, a father, and four daughters contracted the coronavirus with the patriarch, and three of the girls requiring hospitalization. Pastor Fred Jones, Ernestine Ray, Velma Davis, Theresa Jones, and Sabrina Freeman all tested positive for COVID-19 the first week of July. The week before, the family were all diagnosed, they recorded a virtual concert in a Houston recording studio where they believe the virus spread.
Pastor Jones said while recording the show, he started to feel sick. He and three of the four daughters were hospitalized at the same place.
“I said, ‘Can you take me to the same hospital as my sisters and daddy?'” said Freeman to CNN as she remembered her interaction with paramedics who transported the 55-year-old after she woke up, struggling to breathe. “Can you put me on the same floor? Can I be in the same room? I didn’t know what was going on.”
Throughout the ordeal, family members relied on the lyrics from one of their songs “I Can See The Sunshine” also performed during the virtual concert at hand. One of the brothers Kenneth, who passed away over the summer from non-COVID-related health issues, wrote the inspiring song.
“That song really brought us to where we are now,” said Freeman to CNN.
According to the news outlet, the 71-year-old pastor suffered the worst from the deadly virus. He spent two weeks in the Houston Methodist Hospital battling COVID-19 while his daughters each only spent four. He required oxygen and had a fever which Jones described as “scorching.”
Now, months later, the pastor still faces health issues brought by the coronavirus. He now wears a hearing aid like, has scarred lungs and still sometimes struggles to breathe.
“Even though he was talking out of his head, there still wasn’t a doubt to me that he wasn’t going to make it,” said Davis according to CNN.
The Jones Family Singers have existed in Texas and beyond as gospel performers at churches and festivals for over three decades according to their website. Bishop Jones is the founder of The Mt. Zion Pentecostal Cathedral of Markham, Texas.
In the Lone Star State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 1,249,323 cases of COVID19 as of December 6, 2020. According to theGrio, Texas was the first state to reach 1 million cases of coronavirus last month. According to KHOU 11, the Houston area is responsible for more than 25% of Texas’ new COVID-19 cases.
“We already have a surge,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez to the news outlet. “If you look at the numbers in Texas and nationally we’re in a dire situation.”
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