AUSTIN, Texas — As the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, an Austin business owner is ready to exhale after a devastating year and a viral tweet proves she's not alone.
The coronavirus forced Chris Warnick to move her shop twice in less than a year, but that didn't break her passion.
"Things are a lot better and business is slowly coming back," said Warnick.
As business at Anna Christina Esthetics progressed, the coronavirus hit once again. But this time, the blow was felt beyond Warnick's pocketbook.
"I had two deaths in my family, Jan. 6 and Jan. 27," explained Warnick.
In a three-week span, Warnick's cousin and aunt, who took her in as a child, lost their battles against the coronavirus.
"The Latino side of my family, they've all gotten COVID," Warnick told KVUE. "They've all been really sick in San Antonio."
Seeing two family members die from the coronavirus brought on more fear of not being vaccinated.
"I come to work everyday and I do what I need to do, but everyday I am scared," said Warnick. "I go home and I go nowhere."
Warnick said she went on a hunt for the vaccine. With no luck in Austin, she drove two hours to Waco on Friday and got her first dose.
"I was very emotional because I kept thinking what if my aunt, you know my mom and cousin and my family could have got this ... we wouldn't have had to go through this," said Warnick.
Feeling a mix of guilt and relief, Warnick tweeted, explaining what she went through. Within hours, it had more than a thousand retweets and hundreds of comments, showing she isn't alone.
"There were so many people who said they had lost loved ones and they were able to secure the vaccine," said Warnick. "Some people asked me how I did it and if I would help them."
With one more dose still to receive, Warnick feels uncomfortable with the mask mandate ending Wednesday.
"Those of us that are in the industry where, you know, we are around people so much, we're are terrified because now we have to be the bad guy," Warnick told KVUE.
Warnick has advice for those also scouring the internet for the vaccine: keep trying and just don't give up hope.
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