When Alyssa Pacheco left for a trip with friends, she said goodbye to her grandmother Alicia Ramirez, and expected her grandmother to be waiting for her when she returned home.
But when Pacheco returned home, she came home to find that her grandmother was in the hospital with COVID-19.
“In July of last year, (my grandmother) got a surgery and because of her being in the hospital already, she was exposed to (COVID-19),” said Pacheco, a Cal State Bakersfield Student.
Although she wanted to see her grandmother terribly, she was unable to. Hospitals were not allowing visitors at the time. So, instead, Pacheco hopped on phone calls with Ramirez to comfort her.
“I was able to talk to her on the phone, and she said it was a minor case of COVID-19, but she did lose her sense of smell and taste,” said Pacheco.
She said her grandmother was strong during her time in the hospital. She also recalls her grandmother telling her how limited they were about the food she was given.
“I remember the day my mom had to take her to the hospital, my mom wasn’t able to go inside with her because no visitors were allowed to go in, so she was just there waiting for the whole time until my grandma called her and told her what was going on,” said Pacheco.
Ramirez spent about two weeks in the hospital. Pacheco said it was definitely a scary moment, especially because she had seen her grandma in great condition before she left for her trip and to come back to this news was difficult.
Pacheco kept positive throughout this experience by praying and just thinking her grandmother would be home in no time. She said she would not think about the negative things and try to be strong for her mother.
Because of this experience, Pacheco decided to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to not only protect herself against the virus, but to also protect those around her, like her grandmother.
“If you’re debating whether to get vaccinated or not, I would definitely say just do it,” said Pacheco. “Yeah, the second dose it a little bit harder, but it’s something that you’re going to get through and it’s going to be fine. As soon as you’re vaccinated, you feel better because with the vaccine you are safer.”
When her grandmother returned home safe and healthy, she was ready to go back to her everyday life.
“She was back to her old self, and she is the type of person to not take time off of work. She works all the time so she was determined to go straight back to work, and we told her to take it easy,” said Pacheco. “I think my mom helping her with her health and keeping an eye on her really helped.”
Pacheco is thankful her grandmother is back to her healthy self but wants people to know this experience was difficult. Not being able to see her grandmother while she was sick in the hospital hurt her. She doesn’t want anyone else to have to experience this, which is why she thinks it is important to become vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those interested in becoming vaccinated can find a vaccine location near them here: https://phweb.kerncounty.com/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=COVID19Vaccination#