John and Martha McClendon have been married for 45 years and have faced many things together in their marriage but nothing quite like this.

Last week, Martha was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has since been quarantined with their cat in a mother-in-law suite without her husband.

"Our daughter is the assistant dean of pharmacy at Ole Miss," he said. "She told us to assume that everyone that you come in contact with has it."

John said he and his wife have used a lot of precautions and that he was even the only one who doing the grocery shopping. He was very surprised that her test came back positive with them being so careful.

"Don't think that because your are a good person and you've been following the precautions that you can't have it," John said. 

McClendon said he talked his wife into getting tested after she showed some symptoms he recognized.

"Saturday she picked four dozen ears of corn and Sunday she put it up. Sunday she was really tired, I thought it might have been from leaning over the stove and cooking," he recalled. "Sunday night she was tossing and turning in bed, said her throat had hurt and she was aching. So she got tested. We certainly didn't expect her test to be positive but it was. We got her results Tuesday afternoon and then we started calling the kids."

John said he and his wife have been in quarantine ever since she received her results and she has been staying in a mother-in-law part of their home with their cat. 

He says being separated is new for them because they are used to working in their garden at least 3 times a week and if they can, walk together at least 3 miles a day. 

"We both are in really good health, so I hope she will be one of the lucky ones and just have a mild case," he continued. "She just has mild symptoms right now and we are just going to monitor it. Stay inside for the next 10 days. Take Tylenol for fever and drink plenty of fluids." 

Martha, who is spending her quarantine time resting, reading and re-organizing her bookshelf with their cat "Mr. Pretty Fred," says people should be careful.

"You should stay in as much as you can. Folks need to be real careful," she continued. "I've got got a sore throat, fever, body aches but my temperature has never gotten over 100.4. It's not as bad as I thought and I'm hoping it stays that way."

Martha says if you aren't feeling well and are showing symptoms, you should get tested. 

"If you think there is a little something going on, go ahead and get tested. And wear your mask."


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