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2020: A Year in the life of COVID-19 in the Carolinas

The past few months have been full of ups and downs as the world navigated the reality of dealing with a pandemic.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One story has taken over 2020 and that's the coronavirus.

The past few months have been full of ups and downs as the world navigated the reality of dealing with a pandemic.

WCNC Charlotte looked into the Carolinas data for the year.

North Carolina saw a total of 6,729 deaths. 60% of those deaths were people 75 years of age or older. Data also shows 25-49 year old's were infected by the virus most, making up almost half of all cases at 40%. 

South Carolina saw a total of 5,249 deaths, nearly 69% of those deaths were people 71 years of age or older. 

This year we heard a lot of numbers, but they also represent a life, because of that state officials urge you to stay home as we get ready to bring in the new year.

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"This is a matter of life or death as this pandemic continues to take lives and livelihoods," Governor Roy Cooper said. 

27-year-old Raven McGregor battled COVID-19 back when the pandemic started. She said she was among the many people thinking her age and health meant she didn't need to worry about it.

"It was pretty horrible during the whole process, I had a high fever, shortness of breath, just really lethargic," McGregor said. 

The symptoms got so bad she ended up in the emergency room but made it out alive. Meanwhile, people like Shirley Thompson weren't so lucky.

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"The hole that she left, is never gonna get filled, she was just a beautiful person," Shirley's son Steve Thompson said. 

The 82-year-old loved her soul mate for nearly 61 years and loved being a mother. Her son, Steve Thompson feels guilty, after gathering with his extended family and bringing the virus home to his mother. 

"I'm asking people to look across the room at the pictures you have of the family that you love and really asking yourself who do I want to lose," Thompson. 

Jamesha Waddel spent her 23rd birthday in the ICU and on a ventilator. She was just a month away from graduating from Livingstone College, with a goal of working for the FBI. Her family members like many, are urging others to take safety precautions seriously.

"There's a white wreath right down the road at my cousin's house. Right there that made it real. It's real. It's real and we just need everybody to do their part," Waddell's cousin, Tameca Jenrette said.

RELATED: Gaston County to start vaccinating the elderly population next week

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