INDIANAPOLIS — This holiday season is particularly special for one central Indiana family who has battled multiple cases of coronavirus.
The Gaither family fought through three different diagnoses this past year. That meant quarantining three times until dad and his two young adult sons were back to health.
All of them contracted the virus away from home.
Austin Gaither contracted the virus while away at Lincoln College. He dreaded making the phone call home, but the school had already planned to send students home for Thanksgiving break.
Once Taylor Gaither learned his father, Geoffrey Gaither, tested positive, he decided it would be smarter to stay with friends in order to avoid contracting the virus at home.
Taylor accompanied a group of friends to one of their relative's home for a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, only to be among several people who later started showing symptoms of the coronavirus. Taylor eventually tested positive like his dad and brother.
The eldest brother, Jordan Gaither, traveled home from Atlanta to be with the family, so Taylor's plans to visit him there were changed right away.
Somehow, wife and mother Kiki Gaither managed to stay healthy as she took care of everyone. She started managing the household to make sure the virus didn't get worse and that every thing stayed COVID-19-free.
Kiki had reasons to fear the worst. She had already lost as many as 10 relatives to the virus, including a sibling.
"I wore a mask even in the house, and I am giving everybody gloves and spray, masks, and wiping down everything," KiKi said. "You know, somebody has to be healthy. After my brother died from COVID earlier in the year, I just said I would be so grateful if we are here, me and my family. We are safe for the end of this year. It is only by God's grace that we are here to celebrate Christmas 2020."
The Gaithers are planning a family-only Christmas gathering. After what they've been through, they strongly advise other families to do the same.