28 Members Of California Family Contract Coronavirus

Social distancing has been enforced ever since the coronavirus pandemic started. However, it’s hard to control the spread of the virus when it has already infected one of your family members. This is what happened in California when numerous members of a large family contracted COVID-19.

Over the weekend, CNN has learned that 28 members of a family in Southern California had tested positive for the coronavirus. The first case in the family was Richard Garay, who was diagnosed with the disease in early June. Around the same time, his father, Vidal, also got sick.

Vidal passed away two weeks after his diagnosis, a day before Father’s Day. But since then, more members of the family got the deadly virus. At present, the family is not only mourning the loss of Vidal, but they are also fighting for their lives against the virus that has killed thousands of people worldwide.

Among the family members who got infected were a 2-year-old and two other kids. Garay’s sister-in-law, two brothers and many of their extended family members also got infected. In light of the situation, Garay has decided to share their story so that other people who are still in denial of the pandemic will know that the deadly disease is real.

"Hopefully his death can help save people. I don't want him to be a statistic. If his story can save a life, it's worth telling his story. It's real. Doesn't take long to get exposed," Garay said.

According to Garay, he and his late father initially laughed at the thought of being diagnosed together and quarantining together at their home in South Central Los Angeles. But things got serious pretty fast.

At first, they only had a fever. Then, they started having trouble breathing and eating. Vidal had a rare form of anemia that was not related to the virus. So when he got COVID-19, he had trouble taking his medication for the condition.

"He struggled to even drink his medication. He couldn't eat. We had no appetite. I would force myself to try and eat spoonfuls of soup and tried to force my dad to eat it too," Garay said.

Vidal passed away on June 20. According to Garay, he was on a ventilator until the day he died. His mother only got to see his father through a window.

Garay has no idea how they got the novel coronavirus. He has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the expenses incurred from the disease and his father’s pending memorial.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Doctors New York, USA Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York City. New York City has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

Join the Discussion