A Victim Speaks

The Corona Times – April 4, 2020

As Mitchell County begins to deal with the fact that the COVID-19 virus has arrived within our borders over the past week, there is fear, dread, and finger-pointing. It has brought out the best of people…and, unfortunately, the worst. Annaka McKinney, an employee of the Mountain Community Health Partnership, tested positive for the virus this past week and has been in quarantine for a week and a half after another person in her office tested positive for the virus. Nothing was said publicly about either test, but the rumor mill and social media started up and soon, Annaka was receiving inappropriate and sometimes mean messages.

She finally had enough, and on Friday, April 3, posted to her Facebook page a response to the rumors. Here are her thoughts:

Photo of Annaka McKinney

Annaka McKinney

“My heart aches for people who have been or will be diagnosed with COVID 19. After being the second confirmed case in Mitchell county I can say that I have never felt more hurt and embarrassment. Not only have I read very harsh comments on social media about me but others. I have a very sick grandfather and very pregnant sister and I would never put my family or anyone else’s family at risk. I have been in quarantine for 9 days now. I have not left my house in NINE DAYS. I have done and will continue to take every precaution that the CDC has given us. I am not writing this to receive more harsh comments or make anyone feel bad about what has already been said. I am writing this in hopes that next time before you say those cruel words that you would stop and pray for them. Or maybe even consider how they are feeling. No one asked for this sickness. I know I sure didn’t. All we can do is pray for each other and our family.

Shortly after the post was made, an outpouring of support to Annaka and victims of the virus took place.

We publish her comments here as a record as to what took place during the days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mitchell County. The best and the worst of people has been shown to come out and we thank Annaka for giving us the opportunity to record her thoughts in our journal.

Still this one hit home pretty close. The editor of the journal (David Biddix) is Annaka’s great-uncle and it pained me to see some of the things said to and about her and other virus victims. We have not copied these comments as many of them were published privately and we do not have permission to share them. Annaka did grant permission to us to post her comments as a record and we thank her!

Someday, there will be historians looking back at this period in the United States and they will appreciate personal journals such as this that capture not only the facts and figures but also the human side of the pandemic.

We Want to Tell Your Story

If you have stories, images, or videos that you would like to include in The Corona Times, please e-mail mitchellnchistory@gmail.com with your stories and files for inclusion. If you have problems sending us videos, please e-mail and we will make arrangements for you to upload the video to us.

About the Numbers

You will note a series of numbers contained in the blog. They document the spread of virus through confirmed cases by the federal Centers for Disease Control and by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. These are the official totals provided by state and local government at the date of the post and do not include estimates or cases not confirmed by these agencies. This is our effort to provide an accurate gauge of confirmed virus spread as it continues during the pandemic.


Cases in North Carolina


Deaths in North Carolina


Current Hospitalizations
in North Carolina


Cases in Western North Carolina


Deaths in
Western North Carolina


Cases in the United States


Deaths in the United States

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