As third anniversary of pandemic approaches, Valley COVID-19 survivor shares her experience

By: Brenda Villa

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Margaret Chavez vividly remembers the last moments she had with her dad, and says there's not a day she doesn't think about him.

“Every day I think, what would have been if we hadn't gotten Covid... if he hadn't gotten Covid,” Chavez said. "

Chavez’s father died of the disease nearly three years ago. Chavez and her mother also got Covid, but only had mild symptoms. He had to be put on a ventilator twice and resuscitated four times before he died.

“We were some of the few that I know that could say our goodbyes to our loved ones that had Covid," Chavez said.

Shortly after her dad died, she also lost her grandfather.

Like Chavez and her family, many lives were changed because of Covid.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

The first two cases of the disease in Hidalgo County were reported on March 21, 2020.

Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 300,000 thousand cases of COVID-19 and over 4,000 Covid-related deaths were reported in Hidalgo County.

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said if another contagious virus starts to spread, the health department, hospitals and schools all need to work together.

“We have much better tools now than we did now before, more treatment and prevention — and the social impact remains at large,” Melendez said.

Melendez said the area was hit hard by the virus due to the rates of obesity and diabetes throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

He said the most important lesson from the last three years is to try to prioritize health and take everything with moderation.

“What happened in these past three years, it affected us all,” Chavez said. “And we need to be positive, we are going to get through this."


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