W.Va. family stresses importance of social distancing and not panic buying

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – While social distancing is only a change of routine for some, for others it is a matter of life and death.

Alexander Johnson is 5 years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a disease that affects nerve cells in the spinal cord. His family is experienced with quarantining, as they do it each year during cold and flu season to protect Alexander.

His family wants the community to know how important it is to abide by the governor’s stay home order, to avoid spreading COVID-19 to those with pre-existing conditions.

“Me and his brother and sister and his father, we would probably be ok, but the coronavirus would kill Alexander. He would not stand a chance. He’s already in respiratory distress, so right now it’s a lot scarier for us as a family,” said Alexander’s mother Autum, who also has a 10-year-old daughter and 4-month-old son.

The Johnson family has also had to worry about lack of cleaning supplies they need to clean Alexander’s due to a shortage of products in grocery stores after many bought large quantities in what is often referred to as ‘panic buying.’

“If you’re hoarding cleaning supplies and bleach and stuff like that, you’re taking it from the rest of the people, and there are some people like my son that really need it.”

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