When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the initial reports stated that the elderly and those with underlying health issues were most vulnerable. Now stories like that of 4-year-old Raiden Gonzalez are sobering reminders that no one is immune. Raiden’s parents — Adan Gonzalez Jr., 33, and Mariah Gonzalez, 29 — died within months of each other after contracting the coronavirus.
The family lives in San Antonio, Texas and Raiden’s father started a new job as a cement truck driver on May 12, CNN reports. His trainer then tested positive for Covid-19, and by May 31, Adan began experiencing allergy-like symptoms according to his family. He tested positive for Covid-19 on June 3 and he was taken to the ICU six days later where he stayed for a little more than two weeks before he died on June 26.
Mariah broke the news to Raiden who understood that his dad had been ill, Margie Bryant – his great-aunt – told CNN. But it was his mother’s death that’s been difficult for him to grasp. Mariah, a teacher at a daycare center, followed safety protocol at work and didn’t start to feel ill until Oct. 5. She’d spent the day shopping with her mom and later that evening began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains, so Bryant advised Mariah’s mom, Rozie Salinas to call the paramedics, CNN reports. They arrived and eventually took her and her family never saw her alive again. She died the next morning from Covid-19 pneumonia and acute respiratory failure, according to Bryant CNN reports. She had initially tested negative and she was retested after her death and the results came back positive.
“He understands that his dad was sick and had the virus and now he’s an angel,” Salinas told My San Antonio. “But he doesn’t want to accept the fact that now his mom is an angel too.”
Salinas has taken him in and she’s now planing a drive-by party for his 5th birthday that the family is calling a “roar and wave” for his love of dinosaurs and they’re opening it up to the public. Raiden’s birthday is Nov. 22 but the celebratory parade they’re planning will take place on Nov. 28 and the family also set up a GoFundMe to help with Raiden’s care and funeral expenses.
“I really want people to take COVID seriously. It’s not a joke and they just need to be extremely careful,” Salinas told Good Morning America. “If they don’t have to be out and about, don’t do it. Be extra careful and think about your family and everyone else around you.”
Texas reports the highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. with a little more than a million and a little over 20K deaths, which CNN reports is roughly 69 deaths per 100K residents.