Betty B If you get me through this, I’ll help the next person.
My name’s Betty, I am a 50-year-old female from Yakama Nation reservation. I’m also a survivor of the virus.
“It was very scary.”
At first I didn’t realize it until my friend notified me that somebody in our household brought it to her home. And we were together for a few hours that day when they started feeling sick and they went, got tested, and so they advised me to. And then after I got tested, that’s when all the symptoms started. And it was a very long three weeks. It was a very big ordeal. A lot of people were dying at that time. So it was very scary.
They were saying that there was no room. There were no beds. You had to be dying to be admitted, and it was scary to hear that when my mother was admitted to the hospital. I stayed home, and I had to isolate myself from my mates. And it’s a good thing we’re the only ones that live there. We kept everything separate. I had to get up to take care of myself, stay on top of regulating my diabetes. And trying to keep active. I was very thankful for my family. They brought me food, they brought me medicine.
“It felt like forever.”
But once the three weeks were up and I didn’t have to be home alone anymore, I went to the mountains. We all went camping. We stayed away from people, if we see them at the swimming spots, we left. That was how we isolated and just kind of stayed away. But it was very scary.
“I prayed. I cried. I sang.”
I belong to the Washat religion. And we have songs. We have healing songs. I’m not sure if I sang the right ones. I just sing the ones that I know that I can sing because there’s many out there. But the longhouse that I go to is what I have to hold on to. What I have to believe in. Some of my family members would pray and I even had a couple of friends they came up to my house and stood at the edge of my yard where I have a fence, and they cried and they prayed. We talked a little bit, and that helped. But most of it was praying like, “if you only get me through it, I’ll do what I can to help the next person.”
“I have many children in my life.”
I have lots of nieces and nephews. I have lots of grandchildren. They share their children. And I don’t want anything to happen to them. So I went and got the vaccine and it was very hard and I’m thankful the side effects were minimum.
That’s what I pray for, that it goes away. That there’s not going to be no “normal” — there’s nothing to go back to. We can only go forward. So I would just hope that everything would open up so we can, not resume, but create a new living.