After Memorial Day weekend, more businesses began to reopen and more people began to enter in larger numbers. Priscilla Garcia believes her parents were infected with Covid-19 during a trip to their neighborhood grocery stores. The Rio Grande Valley emerged as a ‘coronavirus honapot’ that Priscilla describes as living in “the pit of hell fire. ”
Symptoms appeared quickly but the couple initially tested negative for coronavirus. Then Yolanda started not ending badly. Rolando developed flu-like symptoms. On June 28, the couple needed emergency help. They were taken to different hospitals.
A week later, on July 4, Rolando’s body “ended up closing on its own,”; her daughter said.
Four days later, Yolanda suffered a heart attack and Priscilla had one last chance to talk to her mother.
“I just told you that dad was expecting her and that he was willing to take her with him,” Priscilla told CNN. “He knew they couldn’t be set aside.”
Rolando and Yolanda Garcia were children when they met in San Juan, Texas, a town on the South Texas border. They became a high school sweetener, went to their senior prom together. Rolando joined the Army and came back to Texas to marry Yolanda.
The Garcias were together all the time. They had three children. Rolando worked as a food broker and Yolanda ran a beauty shop near their home.
Two wooden urns with the names of Rolando and Yolanda Garcia sit on a living room table surrounded by a small bouquet of flowers, angel figurines and two photos of a couple who spent their entire lives together.
Priscilla built the sanctuary to her parents in San Juan, Texas, at their home as her family waits for the worst coronavirus pandemic to pass so they can maintain a memorial service.
Their children still can’t understand that the coronavirus pandemic caught their parents in what seemed like an instant. Priscilla hopes people will hear from the tragedy and suffering her parents have endured and take the pandemic more seriously.
“It’s very incredible and shocking,” Priscilla said. “With people who haven’t had this, be very careful because it will come to you. You’re good unless you’re.”
Elder Garcias were not the only ones to get sick. Priscilla was infected after spending several days caring for her parents before going to the hospital. Priscilla’s husband and daughter were also infected but felt only mild symptoms. She has been quarantined in her parents ’home until the virus passes.
Yolanda’s sister was also hit by a Covid-19 and is lying on a ventilator. The Garcia family ordeal is a testament to how addictive the coronavirus was to South Texas families.
The pain caused to families is what Dr. Martin Schwarcz, a lung doctor, says is one of the stunning realities of this pandemic. Dr. Schwarcz critically treats Covid-19 patients in various intensive care units in the hospital.
More than 600 people have died from the coronavirus in the Rio Grande valley, according to the Texas Department of Health Services. The vast majority of those died just in the month of July. The sudden closure in deaths is having an effect on the medical teams that are treating patients. Nurses are allowed to drain emotionally as they deliver bad news to families.
Dr. Schwarcz recalled that she had to call a woman recently and break the news that her father was deteriorating rapidly and that he probably would not survive the night. The doctor said the woman started crying, begging him not to let her father pass, as the virus had already killed her mother and sister.
“It’s very difficult. We’re seeing whole families in our communities ravaged by the virus,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Many deaths inside one family. It’s ugly.”
The saga of Salvador and Imelda Muñoz takes the ruthless path that the coronavirus can take. Salvador, 91, and Imelda, 86, never venture outside their homes. Their children arranged nurses at home to care for them.
In June, an elderly couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. What they didn’t know is that their nurses ’son was infected, so the nurses left and within a few days both Salvador and Imelda were hit by Covid-19, according to Marie Silva, the couple’s daughter.
The family says the 42-year-old nurse, who was a mother of three, died within 10 days of becoming ill.
The Muñoz couple ended up in hospital, but Silva says her mother showed signs of improvement. The family began making plans to return to their home, but suffered a heart attack.
Silva says what makes her mother’s death so difficult to accept is that teams of nurses were so overwhelmed with patients that they could not respond to her mother in time.
“There weren’t enough staff to attend with her and she didn’t do that,” Silva told CNN. “It was awful. I was sad. I was angry. It was already cold. No one caught her.”
In another hospital room, Salvador was getting worse with each passing day. The family arranged one video call. With a nurse at his end holding the mobile phone, Silva says that all his children gathered around him and thanked him that he is a good father, that he was loved and that he will never be forgotten.
“He’s not crying. I’ve never shouted. He’s such a strong man,” Silva said. “But I could see the pain in his eyes.”
On July 10, Silva and her family gathered for her mother’s memorial service. In the middle of the service, the family found out that Salvador had died. Three days later the couple was buried together.
“His job here has been done,” Silva said. “He was willing to go with his wife. He loved her. I know they are together and my father shouldn’t have touched her any other way.”
The families that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic all share the common theme and the frustration that so many people around them don’t take the pandemic seriously enough. They see too many people not wearing masks. Too many people fill restaurants or bowlings and there are too many people who believe they still consider the pandemic to be an exaggerated deception.
These families have experienced the realities of this virus deeply. They saw their loved ones allowed to suffer alone in hospital rooms, fleeing into the air until they took their last breaths.
“That’s what makes you this virus. It weakens you to the point where you can’t eat, you can’t drink. You can barely breathe, you can’t speak. That’s what I want people to know,” Silva said. .