A California woman is pleading with others to remain diligent in protecting themselves and loved ones against the novel coronavirus after she and eight other members of her family contracted the disease, including her father, who was killed by it.
"My dad was healthy, he was active — he was an avid falconer, he had no underlying health issues," Vanessa Avellaneda told local news outlet Fox 11 of her father, Jose Avellaneda, 58. "He ate [healthily], he was active, he was everything you look to be when you’re that age, and it affected him that it shouldn’t have, according to who is high risk and who is not."
In addition to her father and herself, Avellaneda said her husband, their four children, her mother and her cousin contracted the virus in November despite heeding many of the precautionary measures recommended by experts since the start of the pandemic.
"We got our groceries delivered, we didn’t go out, didn’t interact with people outside our home. So this was a shock to all of us, to say the least," she told Fox 11.
The mom of four said she feels frustrated when she sees others not taking the pandemic seriously — especially after her family witnessed the devastating effects the virus can have first-hand.
"Seeing so many people online [asking], ‘Where can I eat dinner? Where can I get my nails done?’ This isn’t a time to be worrying about that. I just want everybody to take it seriously, this is not something I want anybody to feel," she said.
Speaking of her father, Avellaneda remembered the 58-year-old was "always with a smile on his face."
"[He was] always willing to help anybody, actively involved in church, always there for our community," she said.
"This has impacted us more than anybody can imagine, my dad being the sole provider for my mom and my cousin, this goes beyond politics, this is no longer politics, this is people’s health and their lives. Money can always be made just please adhere to the guidelines, it’s not worth losing a family member," added Avellaneda.