“It was wonderful when it started. My baby came with a lot of blessing at the beginning.”
At 23 years old, Eva Garcia was excited to be a first time mom, especially at a time when everything in her life seemed to be going so well. She ran a hot dog truck outside Kaiser Permanente hospital on Sunset Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.
Then, the coronavirus crisis hit.
“Business started getting slow, and I had to stop working just because all of my clients were nervous because I was pregnant and they said I shouldn't be out because of COVID-19," Garcia said.
But staying home may be what got her sick.
First, her mom tested positive for COVID-19. Then, her aunt caught the virus. Finally, Garcia got her own positive test, a threat to the baby growing inside her.
“They had to do an emergency C-section just because the coronavirus was spreading more. I wasn't able to breathe any more, and the baby wasn’t getting any oxygen.”
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In these times of COVID-19, it meant isolation for mom and her new baby boy.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see my baby," Garcia said with emotion. "I didn’t get to touch him, hold him--anything like that."
Five weeks later, and Garcia continues to test positive, still unable to physically be with her son.
“Wanting to hug him, see how he looks like, touch him, feel him, smell him--that baby smell--and not being able to is really hard," Garcia said. "Really hard having a little you, not with you.”
Garcia says the isolation has to continue – for the baby’s sake. Another relative is caring for him, and video chats are her only connection, for now, until she finally tests negative.