New Iberia woman quarantining in California relies on strangers’ kindness to get by

Louisiana Network

SACRAMENTO, Ca. (KLFY)- On March 3, Veronica Branch, 41, hopped on a plane to Sacramento, California, excited to start
her job as an environmental services worker.

The job was supposed to last five weeks. Everything changed, however, when she caught a cold about a week into her trip.

“It’s typical to get a snotty nose or a headache because of the climate change,” Branch said.

So she thought… Five days later, she found herself sitting alone in her hotel room in quarantine, waiting for her coronavirus test results.

“The 20th of March is when I was officially tested for the coronavirus,” Branch added.

Her family, nearly 2,000 miles away in New Iberia, did all they could so far away from Branch.

“We are just all trying to figure this out one day at a time, being a support system there for her. It’s really tough,” Douglas Maiden, Branch’s brother said.

During one of those phone calls back home, a woman staying next door to Branch in her hotel overheard.

Next thing she knew, she had groceries and cleaning supplies waiting for her outside her room.

“I mean it’s small amounts but huge to me because I had absolutely nothing,” Branch said.

As the days dragged on in her hotel room, Branch says she slowly started to regain her strength, but her neighbor’s kindness didn’t stop. She started writing her notes of encouragement.

“On my note, it said, ‘Phillipians 4:13, I am able to do all things through Christ who
strengthens me.’ Then she wrote, ‘God loves you like crazy. He healed you,’ with a smiley face,” Branch recalled.

Branch said she felt peace, knowing she had someone there so far from home who cared about her.

“In the midst of everything that’s going on health-wise and with this whole situation
all over the world, I’m just one little me from Louisiana way out here in what’s supposed to be ole’ sunny California, but good things are still coming out of the whole situation,” Branch said.

Her test results recently came back positive for COVID-19, but her quarantine will be over this Friday.

She says she’s on the road to recovery.

“I’m not 100%, but I’m definitely on my way to 100%,” she said.

Branch says if everything goes smoothly, her company will be sending her back home to New Iberia next week.

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