COVID is CLosing In, Please Let Me Keep My Grandma

Nobody is taking this seriously and it’s suffocating


COVID-19 is closing in. It feels suffocating today because my little brother is waiting for his test results, and I have to wear a mask in my room. A friend of his lost taste and he had been near her recently. My parents aren’t taking this seriously, and are letting him be in the house. We have a garage with a fridge, a tv, two recliners and a restroom, which he can stay in all day. He took the playstation we all use for movies and shows back there with him. One of his excuses for coming into the house was to get a C02 canister for his air gun. This is a game for him. Nobody is taking this seriously.

My grandma, Vicenta Garay, sleeps peacefully in a hospital bed in Whittier, CA on Oct. 13, 2019. Photo credit: Abraham Navarro/Substance.Media.


It’s difficult watching people around you not listen to what’s going on. It’s hard trying to be the voice of reason. 2020 has left marks on almost everyone. People have lost jobs. Some have had to say goodbye to loved ones, and because of the pandemic, others wish they had that chance.

And now I’m waiting for my brother’s test result to come back so that we can figure out what to do next. At this point if it comes back positive there’s a very good chance we all have it.

I heard somewhere that at the beginning of the pandemic it was predicted that it could get so bad that one in 800 people could be infected, but now one in 100 are infectious in LA County alone. Now it’s been exactly a year from when people started talking about the new flu in Wuhan. Little did I know how bad it would get.

One thing I enjoyed more easily before the pandemic (besides everything) was my grandma’s house. My grandma is a tiny 83-year-old diabetic with a pacemaker. Sometimes fluid builds up in her lungs, sometimes she falls and gets MASSIVE bruises and sometimes she just really wants salty food, even though the doctor said she wasn’t allowed any.

My cousin, Alex Acevez, and I sit with our grandma while she is in the hospital in Whittier, CA, on Oct. 18, 2019. Photo credit: Abraham Navarro/Substance.Media.


My grandma used to paint. I remember she liked painting flowers. She still sings, and she calls me and my brother (and I’m sure everyone else in the family) to sing us Las Mañanitas every birthday I can remember from when I was five. She used to take care of birds, but she’s too old for them now. My tia and cousin take care of her now full time.

It’s good that she’s a tiny lady because when she would start to get sick or she would fall then my cousin or the paramedics can pick her up without too much of a fuss.

Maria Navarro, my mom, wakes up her mom, my grandma, Vicenta Garay, 83, in the ICU on Oct. 13, 2019 in Whittier, CA. Photo credit: Abraham Navarro/Substance.Media.


My grandma’s name is Vicenta Garay. She’s my grandma on my mother’s side. I’m one of her later grandkids, and I haven’t been able to spend as much time with her as I’d like, but I appreciate every second.

It’s hard to think I might lose her this way, which already could have been avoided for more than 200,000 people.

Clara Garay takes a photo of her sisters Hortencia Acevez, Maria Navarro and their mother, Vicenta Garay, on Apr. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Abraham Navarro/Substance.Media.


Our grandmother passed away in her home on May 11, 2021. She was surrounded by family and will be missed dearly.