A nurse watches a patient through a glass in Coronado, California.
Etienne Laurent / EFE
Melitón Cervantes began to show symptoms of COVID-19 the first day of December, after one of her three children had possibly been infected at the supermarket where she worked.
The father of the Pomona family, in eastern Los Angeles County, was severely affected. “He started hallucinating, talking when none of us was talking to him., saying that he couldn’t see us even with his eyes open, ”his daughter Ericka told local channel ABC7.
The man was hospitalized on December 11 and things went from bad to worse for him despite being young (51 years old). His overweight and a suffering from sleep apnea played against him.
After 15 days in intensive care connected to a ventilator, Melitón Cervantes died without his family being able to say goodbye to him in person. A real disgrace.
Pomona family struggles to find mortuary after 51-year-old father dies from COVID-19 https://t.co/A3VelG0JES
– ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ ABC7) January 22, 2021
The other misfortune came later: his widow and children, who had also been infected but recovered from the virus, it took weeks to find a funeral home to receive the body.
“We are tired and dealing with the passing of my father. Then having to deal with finding a funeral, ”Ericka Cervantes told ABC7.
In all of Los Angeles County, funeral homes and hospitals are experiencing a saturation due to excess bodies. The authorities even authorized the increase in cremations.
This Friday, 9,277 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Los Angeles County and 262 deaths.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
January 22, 2021
New Cases: 9,277 (1,054,802 to date)
New Deaths: 262 (14,894 to date)
Current Hospitalizations: 7,073 pic.twitter.com/mARqx1UE26
– LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) January 22, 2021
Cervantes revealed that the family had been searching for a funeral home throughout the region for weeks, but they were always told they were full.
Someone explained to him that one of the reasons for not receiving his dad’s body was that died in a hospital and the body was refrigerated, contrary to many cases of deaths in nursing homes or houses.
Almost a month after the death, the Cervantes family finally found a place with availability, although 40 miles from where they live, according to the report. A GoFundMe page to help with related expenses was started.
More than 20,000 Californians have lost their lives to COVID-19. Those people were parents, grandparents and friends. And they could also be yours. Wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and if it is not an essential activity, stay home. #ChangeTheChange
– CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) December 19, 2020
Ericka Cervantes’ message seems redundant, but it does not lose importance for that: wear a mask, maintain social distance and take the coronavirus seriously.
“It doesn’t just happen to people 65 and older.”