First known local COVID patient looks back on 2020

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 11:18 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A lot has changed as the world adjusted to living life in a pandemic.

One person who’s been through a lot is the first known COVID patient in our area, Jason Hasty.

We spoke with Hasty and a local health expert on where we stand in the pandemic now versus 2020.

We’ve come a long way, and we know a lot more now.

For Hasty, it feels like a lifetime ago.

“It was February the 17th of 2020, and I just felt bad. I felt horrible,” he said.

He says he might have gotten it from a prisoner that appeared in court just four days before. This was during his time as an attorney.

“I went to the doctor, I was pronounced negative for the flu, so I thought, ‘well, I just need to suck it up and tough it out.’ I wasn’t tested for COVID because they weren’t testing for it,” said Hasty.

His 2020 also dealt with more than just COVID.

“I went through a divorce, we lost dad on March 1 of that year, my mom fell and broke her hip and her femur, and, you know, my home was burglarized,” he said.

He takes it in stride and thanks God he’s alive.

After successfully treating thousands of patients for COVID, Augusta University is echoing the lessons learned from cases like Hasty.

Dr. Roger MacArthur, infectious diseases expert at Augusta University Health said: “We need to know better how long protection is going to last. We need to know better whether we’re going to have to get vaccinated every year, every six months or so,” he said.

MacArthur says that it’s time to return to normal.

“We need to move past the hunkering down stage, we need to get out there again, we need to get back to life as normal,” he said.

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