A family in Arlington, Texas, is pleading with people across the country not to attend large family gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday after more than a dozen of them contracted the coronavirus after holding a large event themselves.
“I went to my nephew’s house and loved seeing my family, but now, I’m fighting against COVID-19,” a woman is seen saying from a hospital bed in a video posted to social media over the weekend. “Now, I’m in the hospital. I can’t see my family.”
The Washington Post identified the woman seen in the video as 57-year-old Enriqueta Aragonez. She and more than a dozen of her family members attended a birthday celebration for her nephew’s wife, after which many of them tested positive for the coronavirus.
An #ArlingtonTX family recently experienced an outbreak of #COVID19 after attending a large family gathering. Please watch this video message and do your part to reduce the spread of the virus this holiday season. #ProtectArlington ➡️ https://t.co/QQdkWS1zxH pic.twitter.com/ycdog3wXci
— City of Arlington (@CityOfArlington) November 19, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised all Americans against traveling and gathering ahead of the holiday, saying a large number of Americans, especially younger ones, could spread the virus to more at-risk family members without knowing they are doing so.
“When we took my mom to the hospital, our hearts broke,” Aragonez’s daughter says in the video, which was posted to Arlington’s official government Twitter account. “We feel guilty for gathering.”
Other family members described a feeling of loneliness, sadness and depression.
“Please don’t be like my family and ignore the CDC guidelines,” another woman says. “By staying apart we can defeat this virus together. The cure starts and ends with you.”
“Please protect yourself,” Aragonez said. “It’s real.”