CDC data shows that Black and Hispanic people are dying from COVID-19 at much greater rates than white people. One San Diego family wants to talk about the passing of their mom and wife from the virus in hopes of raising awareness about how serious it can be.
Mayra Santillo's husband and four kids remember her as someone who loved to make people laugh. She loved music, her family and adored the family cat.
"[What] I’m going to miss so much about my mom, she was always so happy – every day she would always have a smile," one of her daughters said.
Friday, Santillo was rushed to the hospital. She hadn't been feeling well for six days, but her husband assumed she had the flu. She had heart failure, tested positive for COVID-19 and passed away soon after.
"This happened to my wife in six days. I lost my wife in six days, they lost their mom in six days. We need to take care of ourselves," her husband, Roberto Santillo said.
The family is now in quarantine in their family home. The San Diego Latino Health coalition is a group of community-based organizations working to spread awareness about the virus because of stories like Mayra Santillo's.
"Latinos are overrepresented in essential jobs that are on the front lines. They have the most interaction with people. It's also, Latinos are living in multi-generational housing, using public transportation, there's a variety of different factors," said Nancy Maldonado, president of the Chicano Federation.
Mayra Santillo had been working as a housekeeper before the pandemic and her husband is a technician at a grocery store. A GoFundMe page been set up to help pay for her funeral expenses and medical bills has raised over $13,000 from friends and family.