Covid delayed a wedding, upended jobs and took a loved one — all in one Nevada family

LAS VEGAS — Kenia León kneeled and positioned a white silk rose thru a crevice on the best of her mom’s mausoleum marker on a mid-October afternoon. She paused for a couple of seconds and moved it quite to the left.

“I will pay attention her voice in my head yelling at me to verify they’re even,” Kenia, 39, stated, as she smiled and wiped a tear from underneath her spherical, black sun shades.

It was once simply over six months since her 75-year-old mom, Petronila Maria León, had died of Covid-19.

“She must nonetheless be right here,” Kenia stated, brushing her hand in opposition to the engraving at the mausoleum marker. She and her brother had selected an island scene to be engraved at the granite area of interest. Born and raised in Cuba, their mom had all the time liked the sea.

Kenia grew to become her head and appeared across the cemetery. She puzzled what number of others laid to relaxation there had died from the coronavirus. On April 10, the day her mom died, the toll in Nevada had reached 120. Since then, it had grown to almost 1,700. She puzzled what number of households, like hers, had been nonetheless feeling the virus’s have an effect on on their well being, livelihoods and futures.

Kenia snipped every other silk flower for her mom’s mausoleum marker. The funeral house had now not but put in a vase as her circle of relatives had asked.

She sighed. It was once every other piece that remained unfinished.

Kenia León, 39, touches the marker the place her mom’s ashes are interred in Las Vegas.Joe Buglewicz / for NBC Information

The pandemic hits

If Petronila, who went via Mery to her family and friends, didn’t really feel neatly within the week earlier than she went to a physician’s appointment the morning of March 24, she had now not informed her 3 kids. She hardly confirmed weak point, bodily or emotional.

Ahead of retiring, she labored at a college cafeteria for almost 20 years and seldom ignored an afternoon at the task. Her kids recalled that once she broke her foot within the past due 1980s, she nonetheless went to paintings on crutches. When her husband of 51 years, Jose León, died of most cancers in 2016, she promptly packed up his assets, tossing just about the whole thing. She driven thru hardship via taking a look to the long run.

That morning, her center kid, Rodolfo León, 47, felt worried as he drove his mom to the physician. She was once scheduled to obtain an iron infusion after fresh lab checks confirmed she was once anemic — and because the pandemic unfold, Rodolfo, who is going via Roy, sought after to verify his mom was once wholesome.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak had close down faculties on March 15. Two days later, Roy, an fundamental faculty bodily schooling trainer, and his fiancé, Reba Mathai, 30, a second-grade trainer, who each lived with Mery, got here down with stuffy heads and misplaced their sense of style, Covid-19 signs. Kenia, who additionally lived in the house, felt coronavirus signs a couple of days later, with a cough, fever and chest pains. Mery had no outward signs, except for citing a gentle stomachache.

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The circle of relatives started taking precautions: setting apart from one every other and dressed in gloves and mask all over the place they went, even within the home. They used disinfectant continuously.

Covid-19 checks had been nonetheless in brief provide in Nevada, and Roy and Kenia had been nonetheless looking forward to their effects. Roy was hoping that their signs had been not anything to fret about.

Mery had handiest been with the physician for 15 mins when he got here into the ready room and informed Roy they had been taking his mom to the clinic via ambulance. She appeared susceptible, her center charge was once prime and he felt she wanted speedy clinical consideration.

Roy grabbed his mom’s walker, her handbag and coat and ran outdoor as paramedics positioned her in an ambulance.

“I’ve were given your stuff and I’ll meet you there,” he yelled.

But if he were given to the clinic, the protection guards would now not let him within; no guests had been allowed.

Roy broke down. Not able to force, he known as his sister to select him up.

It was once the remaining time he noticed his mom.

Inside the subsequent week, the entire circle of relatives were examined and gained their Covid-19 effects: certain.

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