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My dad, Jose Roberto Alvarez, contracted COVID-19 in late June 2020, and my mom also contracted it a couple of days later. Since I live with them, I tried to keep myself separated from them, but it was almost impossible, so I also contracted COVID-19, in early July. My dad went into the hospital while I was sick, so I didn’t ever get a chance to see him his last day. The last time I saw him was July 2nd, 2020, as I was starting to feel sick at that point. I probably could have gone to hug him, but since we weren’t 100% sure if I had COVID-19 myself, and we didn’t take any additional risks, I took my parents lunch trays from their bedroom door to the kitchen and washed their dishes that last day I saw him. At that point, his breathing had already been labored, and my mom had to take him to the hospital early morning on July 4th, 2020. I didn’t even get to see him off to the hospital, because I was so sick, and my parents knew they needed to also let me rest. Within a day, July 5th, 2020, he had to be put on a ventilator, which was very scary. He was in that hospital for a total of 16 days before succumbing to COVID-19 on July 20th, 2020. I had really hoped he’d come back. What truly breaks me is that we couldn’t be there with him to say our goodbyes, and that he was in that hospital room alone, with no contact from his family. This is such an unfair thing to have happened, and we fully believe it could have been prevented. Now, we are currently at a loss, and miss him so much. He was such a force in our house, and my siblings, mom and I have had to navigate this difficult time. We’re all just so sad and would do anything to have him back.

– Monica Alvarez, California