In March 2020, Tiffany Samuels checked her Facebook page and saw a post by Romelia Hodges, who posted about a COVID-19 outbreak in a Black church she attended, Friendship Baptist in Everettville.
At the time, the state had not reported any COVID-19 cases, so there were no restrictions and most residents did not see the virus as a threat. There was little knowledge and access to COVID-19 testing.
Samuels said when she finished reading the post, she was so disturbed, she couldn’t stop thinking about it for days and couldn’t sleep. Samuels, who is director of development for West Virginia University’s School of Nursing and Public Health, called Hodges and asked what she could do to help. Hodges said her entire family had become ill and her husband and son were not doing well.