Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

RED BANK: FAMILY ‘DODGED BULLET’ OF VIRUS

red-bank-lauterwassers-041720-1-500x332-5209929The Lauterwassers and Craigs outside their Red Bank home Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

If the official figure is accurate, one household accounts for about 6 percent of Red Bank’s 87 COVID-19 cases.

The good news: all four adults in the East Westside Avenue house are now healthy and anxious to go back to work, having “dodged a bullet,” and the lone child there quickly rebounded, they told redbankgreen Friday.

red-bank-lauterwassers-040820-500x319-9658465Family members cheered on the Bunny Parade as it passed their home April 8. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

The home in question is the residence of Dianna Lauterwasser and her husband, former borough fire chief George Lauterwasser. They share it with their daughter, Amanda Craig; her husband, Nick Craig; and 18-month granddaughter, Emmalynn.

It was there that redbankgreen learned of the family’s situation during the Bunny Parade put on by borough Parks & Rec and firefighters last week in lieu of the annual Easter Egg hunt.

“I wouldn’t get too close,” Nick said, as we took photos. “We all have it.”

“It,” of course, is COVID-19. Turns out the family has been self-isolated since since March 23, when Nick came home from work suffering a fever and body aches.

He was able to get tested two days later at the newly-opened drive-thru testing facility at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, and just a day later was informed the result was positive. His symptoms took several days to tame.

Next to fall ill was George, who experienced tightness in his chest. He got tested mainly because of his proximity to Nick.

“We actually thought he was going to be negative, because after a couple of days, the tightness went away, and he only had a little bit of a cough that he thought was from a post-nasal drip,” Dianna said.

“He never had a fever, he never had body aches or chills,” she said.

But a week passed before George received his test result, because his phone number had been mis-entered into the record system, Dianna said. Outcome: positive.

Of all who became ill, Dianna said, she was most fearful for her husband because of his age, 68, and because he has other health conditions.

“I was more concerned about him than the rest of us,” she said. “We did keep him isolated, so we were taking him his meals and making sure we wore masks and gloves and all that.”

Over the weekend of March 28, as Nick and George were laid up, Dianna and Amanda began experiencing symptoms of what they thought were sinus infections, Dianna said: sinus pain, nasal congestion, ear aches. Each called her doctor, and the doctors agreed with their assessments, prescribing antibiotics for sinus infections.

Over the ensuing days, “Amanda felt so-so,” with some dizzyness and tightness in her chest, Dianna said. Diana never had chills or aches herself, she said. “I just felt… crappy. There isn’t another word for it. I just didn’t feel good.”

So the women drove to the PNC center, where they waited about two hours to be tested, patient numbers 203 and 204 in a long line of vehicles. Their results also came back positive, though Dianna was already beginning to feel better by then.

The coronavirus also is presumed to have infected Emmalynn, who awoke from a nap early on in Nick’s illness with a slight fever, Dianna said. Amanda took the child to her pediatrician, who did not test her for coronavirus, but told Amanda that she probably had it and, like most other children, would in all likelihood get better soon.

“She ran a fever for a day and half, had a runny nose, and that was it,” Dianna said.

“We were just very lucky,” Nick said as redbankgreen snapped another photo from a safe distance Friday, this time post-illness. “We dodged the bullet.”

With each new positive, the adults had to tack on two more weeks past the point of their last symptoms before it would be safe to be with other people, under guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

So on Easter Sunday, with more than a week of quarantining still to go, the family “did a drive-by,” parking outside the home of Dianna’s 81-year-old mother in Wall Township “so she could see the baby” from the porch.

“We all feel fine now,” Dianna said Friday. The family is free to return to work: Dianna at the Naval Weapons Station Earle, where she works in the housing department; George with PATH system, where he’s a sanitation supervisor; and Nick, who works with the underground-infrastructure firm Utiliquest. Both Nick and George’s jobs are classified as essential, Dianna said.

Amanda, a teacher at the Shore Center for Students with Autism in Tinton Falls, has already resumed work via the internet.

Meantime, the family is “absolutely” experiencing cabin fever, only venturing out into the yard, walking the dog or going for short walks, keeping well away from other pedestrians.

“If anybody else is out, we turn the other way or cross the street,” Dianna said.

Of course, the vast majority of patients who become infected recover, while others experience severe or even fatal symptoms. So far in the the pandemic, COVID-19 is believed to have killed or hastened the deaths of 153,000 people worldwide, including 3,840  in New Jersey and 206 in Monmouth County.

Still, “we consider ourselves extremely lucky,” she said. “There but for the grace of God go we.”

Though the testing made no difference to the course of their illnesses, Dianna is relieved that it may have prevented her from passing on the coronavirus to others.

“If George and Nick hadn’t tested positive, Amanda and I would have just assumed we had sinus infections, and would have been out infecting half the world,” she said. “It’s not the classic ‘fever, cough, body ache’ symptoms that they keep putting out there.”

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.