A third grade teacher died of complications caused by COVID-19 just days after being diagnosed.
Demetria “Demi” Bannister was preparing for her third year teaching third grade at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Buzzfeed.
The publication notes she was last at the school on August 28, the final workday for teachers, before taking up virtual teaching on August 31.
The 28-year-old tested positive for coronavirus on September 4 and died just three days later.
“With heavy hearts, (Richland Two) administrators share this information with permission from Ms. Bannister’s parents who wish to remind others about the seriousness of this disease caused by the coronavirus,” the school district's spokeswoman Libby Roof said in the release.
Her family hopes that this will be a wake up call for many who aren’t taking the virus seriously.
“I’m just hopeful that her death will be a reminder to the public that this coronavirus is mean, it’s nasty, it does not discriminate, and that it’s devastating,” Bannister’s uncle, Heyward Bannister, told BuzzFeed News. He added: “It disrupts families’ lives.”
“She was teaching before she even became a teacher,” Bannister’s cousin, Shayla Jones, told Buzzfeed.
“She was always the teacher and my cousins and I would be the students,” she recalled.
Bannister was referred to as the “Windsor’s Songbird” after writing and performing a song about the importance of good attendance set to “Old Town Road” in 2019.
“Known as Windsor’s Songbird, Ms. Bannister used her musical talents to bring a great deal of joy to our school,” Denise Quickel, the principal of Windsor Elementary, said in statement explaining that she led the school’s choir in several performances and hosted a club for singers.
Her family said she died in the hospital alone because of strict coronavirus protocols.
“I feel bad that she was by herself,” Jones said adding, “No one could talk to her.”
Heyward noted that there has been no “closure” for the family.