Covid-19 Killing Millions Still Hasn’t Taught Us Our Lesson


My Uncle David (passed in January), my mom, me, my grandpa, and my Uncle Arturo (passed in January). (from left to right)

On Nov.1, CNBC reported that more than 5 million people worldwide have died from Covid-19 in less than two years. 745,836 of those deaths were in the U.S., making it the country with the highest number of recorded deaths. It is a hard-to-fathom number, but it’s all put into perspective when two of those 5 million were your uncles. 

Covid-19 seems to be this faraway, distant issue until it reaches you and your family. Those who have never been personally affected by Covid-19 or lost someone seem to be the same ones who don’t take the virus seriously and let their guard down more often. Covid-19 has always been a serious threat. But with everyone becoming vaccinated, it has given them the entitlement to ignore safety policies and undermine the health of others, assuming everyone is vaccinated around them.

This ongoing urge for young people to want the world to go back to normal is just sign of selfishness and ignorance. People are being affected by the pandemic everyday and those who have never met anyone who has had it or have never had it themselves are the ones who continue to go out and be surrounded by hundreds of individuals unmasked and undermines the danger the virus puts people in.

At the beginning of the year, I had high hopes for 2021, but those were shattered when I lost my uncle, Arturo, in just the first few weeks of January to Covid-19. Little did I know, I would lose another uncle, David, just seven months later to the same thing. It’s difficult to relate to the trauma and depression that consumes someone who has lost someone close to them to Covid-19 until it affects them personally.

As much as I am aware of the virus and it’d danger, I never thought it would personally affect my family. I lost my  uncle Arturo in January and my uncle David in September.

No matter how much the news reinforces the virus’ impact, people will always use their excuse of freedom to do what they want and be selfish by going out to party, concerts, and refrain from wearing masks.

The death of my first uncle, Arturo, hit my mom the hardest. I had never seen her so brokenhearted in my life. She was so hopeless and went into a deep depression after losing one of her older brothers to whom she was the closest to. She was in shock that it was Covid-19 that took his life. 

We watched our first virtual funeral from thousands of miles away on Zoom.

Keeping yourself and family safe from Covid-19 means making sacrifices that are harsh, but necessary. Missing my uncle’s funeral is one of my biggest regrets, but my health is also important at the same time and I had to take into account those I would be exposing to the virus if I were to travel.

Never in a million years did I think I would be watching my favorite uncle’s funeral through a computer screen in my living room.

To be unable to be with your loved one when they pass due and unable to mourn with friends and family after their death are the hardest challenges of losing family to the pandemic.

Seven months went by.

My uncle David had a house party in Texas in August with my entire family. This was the first family reunion since my uncle Arturo’s death in January. 

Texas is one of the many states that continues to neglect the seriousness of Covid-19. There is a lack of mask usage despite the constant uproar in cases. My family had done exactly that, avoided mask wearing in Texas even with the large number of cases.

On August 31, a family text message was sent out saying, “our brother David has passed away.” We knew he had passed from Covid-19.

The same routine later assembled. My mother and I attended his virtual funeral, sponsored by the United States Army in Texas where he received the 21-gun salute ceremony to honor my uncle David’s 20 years of service. 

Out of 29,000 Texans who have died from COVID-related illnesses since mid-January, only 8% of them were fully vaccinated against the virus according to the Texas Tribune.

The world thought that Covid-19 would humble all of us. But, all it did was make us responsible for a couple of months and go right back to our old ways. They see it as a temporary virus that won’t exist again because two years have passed since the outbreak. 

Losing loved ones to Covid-19 is something no one is ever prepared for. As much as things are slowly going back to normal, the virus should not be pushed aside as more people are becoming vaccinated. Covid-19 and the lives it has taken is beyond our control, but wearing masks and following health policies are part of our control and responsibility.

1 in 500 Americans have died in the U.S. from Covid-19 in the last 19 months according to the Washington Post.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose family to the pandemic until it happens to you. People will continue to undermine the continuous threat of Covid-19 until it’s time for them to learn their lesson the easy way or the hard way.

I hope everyone can learn from this and not have to experience it firsthand like I had to.