Two Arkansas mothers plea for public to wear masks as their newborns fight COVID-19

“There are so many families suffering from this. How many more babies is it going to take for people to take this seriously, and to wear a mask?”

ARKANSAS, USA — Two Arkansas mothers share a plea for Arkansans to please wear their masks while both have newborns now fighting the coronavirus.

“I’m angry, I’m stressed, I’m sad, I’m hurt,” said Lexi Gayle, a Benton mother.

Gayle’s 2-month-old baby boy, Preston, started a fight against the virus a week ago.

Doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital are doing what they can to help him.

“They ran antibiotics, they weren’t there to help fight the virus,” said Gayle. “They were there to help jump start his immune system since he has little to no immune system.”

Gayle said her son caught the virus from her fiancé. She said he is an essential employee who took every safety precaution, but it was others around him who didn’t do the same.

“There are so many families suffering from this,” said Gayle. “How many more babies is it going to take for people to take this seriously, and to wear a mask?”  

Preston is still not in the clear yet. He can’t break a 102 fever and his body aches are so bad his mother said he flinches at every touch.

By doctor’s orders, she’s consistently checking her son’s oxygen.

“I’m worried that my son is going to stop breathing at night,” said Gayle.

In El Dorado, another mother’s emotions run high, too.

Dana Palculict’s 4-month-old daughter, Gemma, is one day into her COVID-19 diagnosis. 

She believes her daughter caught the virus by a loved one who was exposed by someone else not taking precautions.

“It’s hard to accept that fact that no matter how many precautions you take, sometimes it’s still not enough,” said Palculict. “’People on Facebook, on social media, are complaining about wearing masks when it’s not about them.”

Palculict said Gemma is coughing and she can’t eat much, but overall, she’s surprisingly doing okay.

But like Gayle, she urges people to start taking this virus seriously.

“I’m hurt. I don’t feel like I can trust anyone. I feel like I can’t leave my house,” said Gayle.

While the very youngest babies can be vulnerable, older babies, as well as children and teenagers, usually have a pretty easy time fighting off COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control data states only 6% of COVID deaths are minors.

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