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Couple becomes seriously ill with COVID-19 during vacation to southern Mexico

Posted at 4:19 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 21:11:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Chula Vista woman is keeping vigil after her parents holiday vacation turned into nightmare, when both become sick with COVID-19.

Jose and Gloria Arellano had a dilemma. Their daughter Joselyn says they had airfare credits from a postponed trip to southern Mexico but the deadline to use the credits was about the run out.

"They had their trip postpone the trip two or three times. They didn't want to lose the money, so they decided to go this time.

On November 11, they flew out from Tijuana to Oaxaca for a two-week vacation. Apprehensive about rising COVID-19 rates, they went prepared with goggles and masks. Gloria also had a face shield. Once there, they did a little sightseeing. When they were near anybody, they wore masks.

"Their main thing is to try food. They were mostly at restaurants. They were also at the beach a lot," said Joselyn.

About six days into their trip, Jose, 56, became sick.

"For him, it was coughing. He has asthma, and it just got into his lungs," said Joselyn.

A few days later, Gloria, 54, also became ill. They went to a local hospital, received COVID-19 tests, and tested positive. Jose got sicker and the family contracted at air ambulance to fly him back to San Diego two days before Thanksgiving.

Jose, a former investigator with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and former Navy, is being treated at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla.

"He's been stabile, on a ventilator and taking antibiotics," said Joselyn.

Joselyn calls her father's situation a helpless waiting game. Her mother ended up in a hospital in Oaxaca, intubated for several days, before being released Monday. Right now, she's quarantining at an Airbnb in Oaxaca.

"It's a vacation, for them, they’ll regret forever," said Joselyn.

Joselyn is trying to stay optimistic with so much uncertainty about her father. She is certain about one thing. There will be no vacations in her family's near future.

"It's not worth it. It's not worth the risk," said Joselyn.

Joselyn's brother flew to Oaxaca to help their mother. He also tested positive and is now in quarantine with her.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up the help the family with medical expenses.