But a simple family visit to have a haircut claimed their lives.
Bruno hopes his family’s grief will be an important reminder of how easy it is to catch Covid-19, no matter how safe you are.
In late November, Bruno’s mother, Carol Bruno, came to his apartment with his sister so that his sister could cut his hair. Before the visit, his sister, who works in a salon, took a test for Covid-19 which came negative. She also quarantined her for a period of three to four days – a sign the family took to mean it is safe to be around.
On the other hand, his mom hasn’t come out much during the pandemic at all.
Bruno explained that throughout the visit, which lasted about 40 minutes, Pronos wore masks and avoided hugs. They also made sure that their mother sat by the windows they had opened as an extra precaution.
A day after the visit, Bruno’s sister began showing symptoms of Covid-19. The mother and son started feeling unwell soon after.
One visit turns into a tragedy
Carole Bruno, the mother, was admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day, but was discharged that week as her condition improved. Two days later, she was returned to the hospital, where she was put on a ventilator.
Then her husband fell ill.
Mike Bruno didn’t even accompany his wife and daughter to see his son, but he started having symptoms and was rushed to the hospital about two weeks after Thanksgiving, according to Bruno.
The day after her husband was put on a ventilator, Carol passed away. Nine days later, two days before Christmas, Mike followed him.
All it took was a simple choice after months of caution, one they thought was safe.
Bruno said, “If I had made that sacrifice, you know, I didn’t, you know, spend 30-40 minutes with my mom – they would still be here.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story missed the total number of coronavirus deaths in the United States.