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Mother pleads for anti-maskers to take Covid-19 seriously as her daughter, 9, fights for life

A mother from Tennessee has pleaded with anti-maskers to take Covid-19 seriously as her nine-year-old daughter fights for life having contracted the virus at a memorial service to her late father.

Mirsada Muric, 26, said she has spent the last couple of weeks in and out of the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital visiting her daughter Blair.

During that time, she has been posted updates to Facebook, and while she has been receiving message of support, she says she has also seen the same people sharing misinformation about Covid-19 – despite her daughter’s condition.

Mirsada Muric, 26, from Tennessee has pleaded with anti-maskers to take Covid-19 seriously in a post on Facebook in which she shared a picture of her nine-year-old daughter Blair (pictured) in hospital on a ventilator having caught Covid-19 at her own father’s memorial service

‘I’d get on their Facebook and see them posting memes or sharing things that they saw on Twitter about how much of a joke it is about being ‘scared’ of a virus and yes, I am scared of it,’ Muric said, according to NBC news.

‘I’m scared for my child and I can’t wrap my head around the idea of not wanting to wear a mask or not wanting to wash your hands, when that could be the easiest helping hand that you can give to someone.’ 

Seeing the misinformation became too much for Ms Muric, who took to Facebook last month to share her anger at people who refuse to believe Covid is real and take steps to reduce the spread, such as wearing a mask.

‘Today has been a day where I just feel angry,’ she wrote in her July 31 post in which she also shared a picture of Blair lying in a hospital, hooked up to life support machines – including a ventilator – with a brown teddy bear under her arm.

‘I want to share this photo because while I sit here praying and crying out to God that my baby pulls through I am STILL seeing people complain about the possibility of another mask mandate. Or they are making jokes about going on unemployment. Or they STILL think covid is a joke and is ‘not that serious’.

‘LOOK AT MY CHILD,’ she wrote furiously. ‘THIS is why people are afraid. THIS is why people beg for you to wear a mask. Who are you hurting by wearing one? What freaking rights are you losing?! 

‘Because, while I sit here and watch a machine breath for my baby, you are out living. I can’t visit with my other child because I am here.. you think it’s funny that people are so ‘afraid of a harmless virus’??? Watch yourself around me. This is the harm you cause because you couldn’t bring yourself to wear a freaking mask.’

As of Thursday, the post had received over 400 likes, more than 120 comments and had been shared more than 440 times, with people posting supportive messages.  

Ms Muric (pictured left with her daughter Blair) said she spent the last couple of weeks in and out of the East Tennessee Children's Hospital visiting her daughter. During that time, she has been posted updates to Facebook, and while she has been receiving message of support, she says she has also seen the same people sharing misinformation about Covid-19

Ms Muric (pictured left with her daughter Blair) said she spent the last couple of weeks in and out of the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital visiting her daughter. During that time, she has been posted updates to Facebook, and while she has been receiving message of support, she says she has also seen the same people sharing misinformation about Covid-19

Seeing the misinformation became too much for Ms Muric, who took to Facebook last month to share her anger at people who refuse to believe Covid is real and take steps to reduce the spread, such as wearing a mask. Pictured: Ms Muric's Facebook post

Seeing the misinformation became too much for Ms Muric, who took to Facebook last month to share her anger at people who refuse to believe Covid is real and take steps to reduce the spread, such as wearing a mask. Pictured: Ms Muric’s Facebook post

Ms Muric explained that her daughter catching Covid-19 wasn’t the first hardship faced by her family this year.

In February, Blair was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and later in July her father died unexpectedly. Muric believes Blair caught Covid-19 during a recent memorial service held for her father.

While at home, Muric realized that her daughter wasn’t acting normally, and two days later, Blair tested positive for RSV – or respiratory syncytial virus.

Ms Muric explained that her daughter catching Covid-19 wasn't the first hardship faced by her family this year. In February, Blair was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and later in July her father died unexpectedly

Ms Muric explained that her daughter catching Covid-19 wasn’t the first hardship faced by her family this year. In February, Blair was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and later in July her father died unexpectedly

RSV put her at high-risk of a severe illness, and she was taken into an intensive care unit where she was later placed on a ventilator diagnosed with Covid pneumonia.

‘With her tumor, it was different … almost easier,’ Muric wrote in a Facebook post on August 3. ‘We had a game plan, plan B and a follow-through. This is just a waiting game.’

But while Blair was in the hospital, her mother also tested positive for Covid-19, meaning she was unable to visit her daughter. 

Thankfully, Blair was eventually taken off the ventilator, giving her mother hope that she would make a recovery, although she is still in the ICU fighting for Covid. Her mother says that she is expected to recover.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, youth cases of Covid-19 are on the rise, and currently make up 27 percent of reported infections. Since the start of the pandemic, the state has reported over 927,000 cases and 12,885 deaths.

Pediatricians have been pleading with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize Covid-19 vaccinations for children under the age of 12 in order to combat the rising cases among children.

Muric says that she will have her daughters vaccinated as soon as possible.

‘I don’t want this to be a political thing and I understand that it’s everyone’s own personal choice and opinion, but do the research and don’t get the research off of social media,’ she said.  

As the delta variant contributes to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation, school officials fear an outbreak is on the horizon, especially in states like Tennessee where vaccine rates are low

As the delta variant contributes to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation, school officials fear an outbreak is on the horizon, especially in states like Tennessee where vaccine rates are low

The state is facing a 12.6 percent COVID positivity rate, according to Tennessee Department of Health data, with just 43.7 percent of the total population receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 38.9 percent fully vaccinated

The state is facing a 12.6 percent COVID positivity rate, according to Tennessee Department of Health data, with just 43.7 percent of the total population receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 38.9 percent fully vaccinated

As the delta variant contributes to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation, school officials fear an outbreak is on the horizon, especially in states like Tennessee where vaccine rates are low.   

The state is facing a 12.6 percent COVID positivity rate, according to Tennessee Department of Health data, with just 43.7 percent of the total population receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 38.9 percent fully vaccinated. 

About 98 percent of those who have died of COVID recently and 97 percent of the recent hospitalizations are among those who have not been vaccinated, state officials announced earlier this month.

But the Tennessee’s top immunization official, Michelle Fiscus, was fired on July 12 as she tried to encourage teenagers to get vaccinated.

She said in an interview that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee consistently resisted the state’s promotion of the COVID vaccine, saying: ‘I feel like the [health] department was gagged.’    

As children across the state begin a new school year, the Tennessee Department of Health encourages parents to make sure routine vaccinations are part of that visit.

‘Vaccinations prevent the spread of diseases and outbreaks,’ said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. ‘Tennessee has always done well at ensuring routine vaccinations for both children and adults are up to date. 

‘However, we know many Tennesseans got off-track with routine medical care during the pandemic and could be at risk for infection or disease, Piercey added.   

However, children under 12 years old — roughly sixth-graders and younger — still aren’t eligible to be vaccinated. 

Vaccine companies are still in the process of testing the shots’ effectiveness and safety for younger age groups, with a timeline for their approval being unclear. 


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