‘I don’t wish this on nobody’: Woman to advocate for masks, vaccine after losing husband to COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UF Health told Action News Jax its COVID-19 death rate is the highest it’s been all year.

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This comes as area hospitals have confirmed that they are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients in the past few weeks.

A spokesperson for UF Health said they’ve had 58 patients die from COVID-19 in August so far. Of those 58 people, 19 of those deaths happened just over this weekend.

Here’s a look at the data UF Health provided, so you can see how August compared to the other months this year:

COVID-19 deaths: UF Health

  • January: 54
  • February: 26
  • March: 8
  • April: 10
  • May: 12
  • June: 4
  • July: 37
  • August: 58

Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole spoke to a woman urging people to get vaccinated after losing her husband to the virus over the weekend.

LaSanda English told Cole she lost the love of her life to COVID-19 on Sunday. She said he spent a little more than three weeks at Baptist South on a ventilator.

“I don’t wish this on nobody,” English told Cole.

She said her husband, Johnny Seay, was a healthy 64-year-old.

“He had been refereeing for over 25 years. So he was constantly running up and down the basketball court with a bunch of kids — at 64. He’s never been a sickly person,” she said.

Seay was a veteran bus driver for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and she worries that he may have caught the COVID-19 virus on the job.

“Every day, the drivers get on the bus taking a risk. They are looking out for the passengers. They’re trying to look out for themselves. But who is looking out for them?” she said.

Cole reached out to JTA to learn how many of its drivers have contracted COVID-19 and what steps it’s taking to keep them safe. JTA is working to get her the answers.

“They have got to take action to protect these drivers. That’s all I want,” English added.

LINK: What are the 55 symptoms you can expect from ‘long-haul’ COVID-19?

She said she is fully vaccinated and caught COVID-19 after coming in contact with him, but she didn’t have any symptoms.

English said Seay received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but got sick with the virus before he could get the second dose.

“I never thought I would be in that position that I’m in, but I’m going to be a big advocate about COVID-19 — as far as wearing your mask and being vaccinated. ... I have to,” she said.