I-Team: ‘Mom, I’m glad I’m positive because I can hug you’

I-Team Special Reports

Mother recalls son's reaction to entire family getting COVID-19

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas mother of three said she and her family survived COVID-19 last summer after hosting a family gathering, where nearly 20 people became sick.

Yolanda Martinez said she wanted to talk about her experience so others would take coronavirus seriously, something she said she did not do at first.

“You know, my youngest is seven,” Martinez told the I-Team’s David Charns. Once he too tested positive for COVID, Martinez recalled her son saying this to her:

“Mom, I know it sounds bad, but I’m glad that I’m positive because I can hug you.’”

At that point in July, Martinez had already been sick for a week, quarantined to her bedroom at her east valley home.

“I would just open the door to grab my food when they would take it to me,” she said. Within days, her entire house had been infected.

“I mean, I never thought it was going hit my family, as well,” Martinez said. “You know, and when it did, it’s like, shocking. It’s like, it can happen to everyone.”

Martinez’s family makes up some of the 11,000 people in 89110 who have tested positive for COVID-19. It is the Las Vegas valley ZIP code with the most cases.

A half-year after feeling sick for two months, Martinez told the I-Team she believes a family gathering may be to blame. She described three or four families, amounting to about 20 people. All the attendees got sick, she said.

“Somebody had to have it for all of us to get it. Right?” she said. But symptoms of coronavirus can take up to two weeks to appear if they show up at all.

While Martinez is not pointing to one specific person, the only one she can fault is herself. Now as cases continue to spread in 89110 faster than anywhere else, she hopes her story reminds her neighbors and other families to stay safe.

“I should have just waited until all this would have went away,” she said.

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