A young boy loses both parents to COVID-19

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Hailey Almonte, Senior Editor

At only four years old, Raiden Gonzalez lost both of his parents due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. Both parents passed only a few months apart, right before Raiden’s fifth birthday. 

Raiden Gonzalez lost his father, Adan Gonzalez, in June of 2020, and his mother, Mariah Gonzalez, explained to him why he died and how his father was now an angel. Raiden understood what had happened to his beloved father, but when his mother died in October, it was difficult for Raiden to understand that his mother too died from the virus and is now an angel. 

“He understands that his dad was sick and had the virus and now he’s an angel, but he doesn’t want to accept the fact that now his mom is an angel too,” said Raiden’s grandmother, Rozie Salinas.

With Raiden’s birthday so close to the passing of both of his parents, Salinas wanted to plan a drive-by party that Raiden wouldn’t forget. She made invitations that noted two of Raiden’s favorite things; Hot Wheels and dinosaurs.

The community in San Antonio came together on November 28th to participate in the hour long celebration. There were superheroes, cake, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and of course, dinosaurs. 

“We’re just trying to make this day special for Raiden and hopefully get his mind off things for a bit,” Salinas said. 

Salinas mentioned that there were people from other cities joining in on the car parade and said how heartwarming and amazing it was.

Raiden said that he is grateful for everyone that joined for his birthday, and added an adorable “thank you.”

COVID-19 has affected many families, as over 306,000 people in America have died from the virus. In April, towards the beginning of the pandemic, the death toll of COVID-19 in America was nearly 2,000, 153 times less than what it is now, further proving that the pandemic is becoming worse. 

However, a vaccine has recently been released to prevent the pandemic from worsening. Although the CDC is not leading a national campaign on the COVID-19 vaccination, they did provide a few key facts about the latest vaccine. 

The CDC, as well as many news outlets, explained that the first people that would be provided with the vaccine are healthcare workers and long-term care facilities residents. There is a limited supply of the vaccine due to it being so new and in such high demand, so the CDC recommended that essential workers should receive the vaccine first. They stated that the supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.

Raiden Gonzalez’s family has started a GoFundMe account to raise money and cover memorial services for his mother and to cover childcare expenses. Their goal of raising $25,000 has now surpassed with $173,000.

Raiden’s parents will forever be in their family’s hearts, and it is important for Raiden to know that he is surrounded by others who love him.