Though the doctors had not yet confirmed it, Angela Fuentes, a mass communication online student, recognized the symptoms.
First, her mother-in-law got sick, with a fever reaching over 103 degrees. Then, three days later, her husband started experiencing strong headaches, coughs and loss of taste. Not long after, Fuentes started feeling weak with fatigue.
It was difficult, and Fuentes worried for her husband and mother-in-law. But none of that compared to the day when Fuentes’ youngest son, a one-year-old toddler, woke up coughing.
“When the baby got sick, that’s when my fear really tightened up,” Fuentes said. “When my mother-in-law and my husband got sick, I was scared, and I was worried. But I didn’t cry. But when my son got sick, I cried.”
The family went to the hospital for testing. Doctors tested them for the flu and strep throat, butt Fuentes knew that it was something else. On March 27, their results arrived and confirmed Fuentes’ fear: It was COVID-19, and all of this happened in less than a week.
Once the first symptoms began showing, the family started social distancing among themselves. They all wore masks inside the house and kept a distance from each other. Fuentes’ mother-in-law stayed inside her room, only coming out to pick up the food Fuentes would leave by her door. When Fuentes’ husband started feeling ill, he pitched a tent behind their house and remained there for the following weeks.
Though Fuentes tried to isolate as much as possible and disinfect everything she touched, she could not leave her five sons alone.