A Bakersfield family has been hit hard by COVID-19, as the virus took two of their loved ones within just one week.
As Kern Public Health updates the death count, it’s important to remember the numbers represent real human lives—real names, faces, and families who now must deal with grief.
The tight-knit Cubias family has been torn in half due to coronavirus. Parents Luis and Ruth, both hardworking immigrants, moved to Bakersfield to fulfill their American Dream. They wanted to give their girls, Alexandria and Stephanie, a better life.
Luis, 49, was a chef who worked at popular Bakersfield restaurants. He suffered from kidney and respiratory problems.
Stephanie, 24, fought for farmworker rights as a UFW legal assistant. She had Lupus, kidney problems, and psoriasis.
“She’s always been a fighter,” said her older sister Alexandria.
On June 18th, Stephanie tested positive for COVID. She lived with her parents, so the virus spread between the three of them.
Just ten days later, on Luis’ 49th birthday, he woke up with breathing problems. He passed away that day.
“I saw his body coming out, and it was the worst. I would never in 100 million years wish this for anyone to go through,” Alexandria recalled of her father.
That same day, Stephanie was rushed to the hospital with severe COVID symptoms.
“I knew right away, her toes were purple, her fingers were pale, her lips were all purple, so I knew she was not in taking any oxygen,” Alexandria said.
Stephanie passed away about a week later after going into cardiac arrest three times.
Now Ruth and Alexandria are left picking up the pieces. Ruth is coping with the loss of her husband and daughter, and Alexandria is grieving her father and sister. They’re urging others to remember coronavirus has not gone away.
“You won’t know until someone, a family or friend, is affected, then you’ll realize this is real. We’re speaking on behalf of both of us; instead of one body, it’s two bodies. And this is no joke.”
The Cubias family has a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses, which is nearing its goal of $11,000.