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459th ARW family survives COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cierra Presentado
  • 459th Air Refueling WIng

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. – Wing civilian Gregory Locke and his wife Lindsey recently shared their story of how their family survived COVID-19 through self-quarantine and isolation. 

Lindsey Locke is a Certified Nursing Assistant at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, De. During her duties, she was exposed to a coronavirus patient. After being notified by her employer on Mar. 17, Lindsey and her family began the process of a 14-day quarantine. 

Gregory Locke is the wing weapons safety manager here, as well as a traditional Air Force reservist with the 914th Civil Engineer Squadron at Niagara Falls, N.Y., serving as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight Chief. Upon learning of his wife’s exposure to COVID-19, he knew had to take charge and ensure his children and he remain healthy and free from the coronavirus.

“At first I thought I just had a cold because my symptoms were that of a common cold,” Lindsey said. “I got tested just to be on the safe side and the results came back negative so I went back to normal activity with my family.”

A few days after Lindsey tested negative, she began developing far worse symptoms such as dry cough, muscle aches and pains. The family decided that Lindsey should be isolated to the master bedroom and bathroom. The Locke’s children would also be isolated to their rooms to avoid contracting the virus. Gregory took over all household chores to include cooking and cleaning and homeschooling.

“We had to take precautions; the last thing we wanted was for the kids or myself to get infected,” Locke said. “I continued to telework and get the mission done while ensuring my wife and kids were taken care of.”

On March 31st, the family received a call with information they already suspected. Mrs. Locke had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

“Now that we knew for sure she had coronavirus we took even more precautions,” Locke said. “I would stand at the door with my mouth covered and hand her a thermometer, or hand her some food then I’d go and disinfect everything. It became a routine.”

As the days went by, the Locke family adjusted to their new normal. They self-quarantined and maintained their health with the help of family and friends.

“While in quarantine, I celebrated my birthday in my room by myself,” Lindsey said. “My friend came by with a cake and talked to me through my bedroom window. My kids sang happy birthday through the door. It will be a birthday I will never forget.”

Slowly but surely throughout her quarantine Lindsey made a full recovery and was able to return to work at the hospital. Gregory continued to telework, and the kids returned to regular homeschool life. 

“I was extremely grateful that I made it out of this alive and well,” Lindsey said. “There are so many unfortunate cases, and I am thankful that I can return to normal life.” 

After consulting doctors, it was determined that Lindsey developed an auto immune response to the coronavirus and returning to work would not cause her to contract it again. 

The Bayhealth Medical Center is using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat others that are severely ill with the virus. Lindsey made the decision to donate her plasma to those in need.

“The floor I work on at the hospital is strictly COVID-19 patients,” Lindsey said. “I’ve seen the struggle, and I want to help as much as I can so I made the decision to donate my plasma. Hopefully, others like myself can donate as well.”

The Locke family stresses the importance of self-quarantine. 

“If you feel like you have symptoms of any kind, get tested,” they said. “Follow the CDC guidance, self-quarantine and keep your supervisor in the know.”

For more information on COVID-19 or to learn more about how the Air Force is responding to COVID-19 check