SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local family is grieving the loss of three loved ones to COVID-19 in the past several months, including a father and his daughter who died four days apart.
In mid-November, a few days after 78-year-old Santiago Covarrubias returned to San Diego from attending a funeral in Mexico, he was admitted into the ER. He tested positive for COVID-19, and a week later, he was placed on a ventilator. His daughter, Carmen, says in late November, her father, a grandfather of 10, passed away.
"It’s an unexplainable feeling. Still hard, still hard," said a tearful Carmen.
Carmen says her father, who worked at NAASCO as a foreman and sandblaster before retiring, was known for his rich singing voice and generosity.
His death was devastating for his brother Juan, 77, who lived with his daughter Monica, a mother of three, in Chula Vista. In early January, both Juan and Monica became sick. Within a week, both were admitted to the ER, diagnosed with COVID-19.
On Jan. 27, Juan, a grandfather of 15, passed away. Four days later, Monica died at the age of 35.
Juan, a retired custodian who worked for the Chula Vista Elementary School District, was known for his humor and "crazy optimism." Monica will be remembered as a caring, devoted mother.
"You are numb, paralyzed," said Jose Covarrubias, Juan's son and Monica's big brother. "It’s disbelief. You start to question how much you can handle."
Jose says his father and sister, both diabetics, were diligent about masks and other precautions. He believes the source of the virus was a small family gathering over the holidays.
"It's life and death for my family. That’s what COVID is," said Jose.
As Jose plans for a double funeral next week, he and Carmen pleading for others to take precautions.
"Please take this seriously, because it’s killed a lot of people … You don’t realize how it can impact a family until it hits home. We are heartbroken," said Carmen.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set to help the family with expenses.