But a simple family visit to get a haircut took both lives.
Bruno hopes the family’s grief serves as an important reminder of how easy it can be to get Covid-19, no matter how safe you are.
Precautions fall through
In late November, Bruno’s mother, Carol Bruno, came to her apartment with her sister so that his sister could cut him. Prior to the visit, the sister, who works in a salon, had taken a Covid-19 test that had returned negative. She had also been quarantined for three to four days – a sign the family took to mean that it was safe to be around her.
His mother, on the other hand, had not been out much during the pandemic at all.
During the entire visit, which lasted about 40 minutes, Bruno wore masks and avoided hugs, Bruno explained. They also made sure that their mother sat next to the windows that they had opened as an extra precaution.
One day after the visit, Bruno’s sister began to show symptoms of Covid-19. Mother and son soon began to feel unwell.
One visit turns into a tragedy
Carol Bruno, her mother, was hospitalized on Thanksgiving Day, but was discharged that week as her condition improved. Two days later she returned to the hospital where she was put in a ventilator.
Then the man became ill.
Mike Bruno did not even accompany his wife and daughter to see the son, but began to experience symptoms and was hospitalized about two weeks after Thanksgiving, according to Bruno.
One day after her husband was put in a ventilator, Carol passed away. Nine days later, two days before Christmas, Mike followed.
All it took was a simple choice after months of caution, a choice they thought was safe.
“Had I brought that victim, and you, not spent, you know, 30-40 minutes with my mother – they would still be here,” Bruno said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misinformed the total number of deaths in the United States.