Just one day apart, a married couple residing in South Los Angeles have both died from coronavirus, leaving behind five children.
Humberto Ruelas-Rivas, 60, died on Sunday, just one day before his wife Karina Bonilla, 38, succumbed to the deadly virus also, KTLA reported.
They leave behind five children aged between two and 17, who are going to be raised by their 35-year-old half-sister Maria Ruelas.
Ms Ruelas is also taking care of her younger sister who was hospitalised with coronavirus and suffered a stroke.
“Within six days, I lost my father,” Ms Ruelas said.
“And within eight hours, I lost my stepmother. And now I have five kids.”
Ms Ruelas believes that her stepmother contracted the deadly virus at her workplace after her boss, a fruit vendor, allegedly showed symptoms, and chose not to self-isolate.
“She went to work and in less than a week she started presenting symptoms,” Ms Ruelas told KTLA.
“She went home and then my father started getting sick.”
The woman says she isn’t even able to give her family members the farewell they deserve since the virus is still allegedly present in their bodies.
“I hope this story doesn't repeat again. It's devastating,” she said.
Ms Ruelas has she applies for legal custody of her five younger siblings.
“I'm happy to do it in the memory of my father,” she said.
As California gradually eases COVID-19 restrictions, Ms Ruelas urges all Americans to take the pandemic seriously.
“I saw a lot of [people] without masks. That terrified me,” she said.
“That virus took my family away.”
The US has two million confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday night.
More than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 across the US.
This article originally appeared on Over60.