Social media comments sting deep for mother with son aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt
A local mother worries for her son who is a sailor on the USS Theodore Roosevelt and she says hateful comments about the ship have hit close to home for her. Kristina Gschwend followed the news about COVID-19 cases aboard the Roosevelt very closely - her son Jose Luis is a sailor on the ship.
First, she says she heard three sailors tested positive. Then it jumped to eight positive cases. The latest number? 23 positive cases...and climbing.
"I started to really worry yesterday he called me - telephone call - and said they're on their way back. They will be quarantined here at Naval Base Guam. He is not going out. So basically he is not here," she told KUAM News.
Gschwend said she has been hurt by social media and real life comments about the Roosevelt coming to Guam. More than 20 sailors on the ship are from Guam.
"One stupid idiot said they 'Hope they die'. That's my son that you just wished that on! And it hurts. I never knew our people to be so ugly. Sorry...that really got to me. Remember that they are children of this island on that ship. And be mindful of your words, because they're hurtful. Keep them in your prayers," she pleaded.
"Be mindful of your words. I've heard some ugly, dirty comments and I'm just like how can you be so hateful? They protect us. They're protecting us."
She said she has mixed emotions about the rapidly-evolving situation. "I understand where people are coming from...they're fear. But you know, these guys need to go somewhere," said the parent. "When they say quarantine, their quarantine is we're locking you in a room and you're not coming out until the 14 days is done. We'll check your temperature and we'll make sure you're feeling well, you stay well. If you're not feeling well, we're going to house you in another place where you're isolated."
Gschwend said it wasn't said whether sailors would be quarantined on the carrier or on Naval Base Guam, but Pentagon officials have aid in national media reports the sailors will not be allowed to leave pier-side.
We asked her if she is worried about her son contracting COVID-19 since it could easily be spread in the close confines of an aircraft carrier.
"I'm worried as a mother would be, but I'm confident that he is healthy and even if he did test positive, he would come through," she said.