LOS ANGELIS (AP) – As a hospice nurse, Antonio Espinoza worked to reduce the ease of deaths. At just 36 years old, it looks like he will be on that trip soon.
But when the unexpected coronovirus killed Espinoza, he spiraled from fever to a breath that sent him to a hospital in Southern California, where he died on Monday, a little more than a week after being admitted.
Espinoza has become California’s deadliest boom. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, an average of 544 people died every day in the past week and a total of 40,000 people died in the state on Saturday.
In barely a year since the virus was first detected in the state, 1 in 1,000 people in California have died.
Espinoza’s wife Nancy watched from a glass window in the hospital as her husband breathed his last, then was allowed to be with her in the room. She is now understanding what to do next and how she will raise her 3-year-old son alone.
Nancy Espinoza said, “I just had enough faith, who by cruel coincidence lives in a city called Corona.” It never crossed my mind that it would be serious, even if we hear about it all the time . “
The victims of COVID-19 are young and old, though most are older. Some were fit and healthy, many more an amalgam of underlying medical conditions.
The California death toll has steadily climbed since the epidemic began in mid-October. New cases and hospitalizations to record highs but declined sharply in the last two weeks.
The deaths are very high with over 3,800 deaths in the last week.
It took California six months to record its first 10,000 deaths, then doubled to 20,000 from four months. In just five more weeks the state reached 30,000. It then took only 20 days to reach 40,000.
Now more deaths have occurred only in New York – 43,000 people topped there – but this speed will eclipse California as well.
For many years, California was a model for how to control the virus. It issued the first statewide shutdown last March and has imposed a number of restrictions that have disappointed business owners, but state officials said people’s lives have been saved.
Matters fell after a peak in July, then began climbing again in the fall. Gov. Gavin Newsom called November 16 an “emergency break” to reopen the state’s economy, which was mostly activated to keep public schools closed, prohibit indoor church services, and limit the number of customers in stores.
But the coronovirus was already moving along like a fugitive train. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and the joy of the New Year, public health officials warned people not to gather with people outside their homes.
Nevertheless, hospitalized and on 3 December, Newsom issued a stay-home order that divided the state into five regions and required more businesses to close or reduce capacity if their sector’s intensive Care units dropped to 15% capacity. Four areas with 98% of the state’s population reached that level.
Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley area were the most difficult, with some hospitals treating patients in hallways, cafeterias, and gift shops. In Los Angeles, ambulances waited for hours for patients to leave.
With conditions improving, all areas are now out of order, although many strict restrictions remain.
Cases and deaths have inconsistently struck people of color and poor communities in California, where families live among those in more crowded housing and without health insurance. Many also work in jobs with greater risk of exposure.
According to data from the Department of Public Health, the death rate for Latino is 20% higher than the statewide average. Black people die by 12%. Case rates are 39% higher in communities where the average income is less than $ 40,000.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous with a quarter of the state’s nearly 40 million residents, accounts for more than 40% of California’s virus deaths. In November, the daily number of Latino deaths per 100,000 inhabitants was 3.5. This is now 40 deaths per 100,000, an increase of over 1,100%.
The death toll has brought other serious signs. The morgue and funeral homes have been overwhelmed and refrigerated trucks are holding bodies.
Maria Rios Luna said it took about three weeks to lift her mother’s body from the hospital where she died in early January because there were 200 other bodies.
She said that her mother, Bernardina Luna de Rios, always found ways to meet seven children to kill her children after she killed them.
22-year-old Rios Luna said she was particularly cautious with her mother ever since the epidemic began. He ran hand sanitizers everywhere and soon after returning home he washed his hands with his sister and two children.
She was the one who went to get groceries so that her mother, who was generally healthy in addition to her rheumatism, could stay home. But the virus nonetheless found its way into her home in Fontana, east of Los Angeles.
Her 59-year-old mother, struggling to breathe, died in hospital and her condition worsened. Her mother tells them not to worry, that she believes in God and that things have happened for a reason.
When her heart began to fail, her children were allowed to see her mother through the window, while a nurse inside placed a phone near Bernardina’s ear so that they could talk to her.
Rios Luna said, “Once I saw him in bed, honestly, it broke my heart.” “I had never seen my mother so insecure.”
After the trip, her mother’s liver stopped working, then her lungs. He died the next day.
“We think she was waiting to see us,” said Rios Luna.