McKinney Family Loses Five Loved Ones To COVID-19

Husband and wife die eight days apart, amid the deaths of three other loved ones, according to their nephew

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Behind each case number is a story of personal struggle with the illness.

For a family in McKinney, the struggle is beyond measure after they lost five family members to COVID-19 within one month.

Grief took over the Arzola Family once again as members attended yet another funeral for loved ones lost to the coronavirus infection

Francisco Arzola and his wife Estela died from complications of the disease just eight days apart.

"He had already made it to rehab center and he was recovering from COVID and then a week after his wife had passed, we got the phone call that he needed chest compressions and then he ended up passing," said their nephew Fernando Pacheco.

Pacheco knows the anguish of losing a loved one too well.

He said his grandfather died from COVID-19 more than a month ago.

A week, later, his own mother died from the disease at age 58, then his aunt and uncle as well as a second uncle.

"It's a nightmare and I don't wish this on nobody. I just want everyone to know that this virus is real and it's dangerous for some people," said Pacheco.

The Arzola family puts a face on the pandemic, which experts say, disproportionately affects the Hispanic community in parts of the country.

State data updated Monday shows Hispanics make up 53.4% of all COVID-related deaths in Texas.

Experts say Latinos are more likely to work in service jobs or live in multi-generational households, increasing their exposure.

A high prevalence of underlying health conditions may also play a role.

Pacheco's mother had diabetes and he said his family is taking as many precautions as possible.

"Even my aunts and uncles that went to the funeral yesterday, everyone, stayed in their cars because of how scared they are," said Pacheco.

A fear, he said, that's prompting the family to share their story with as many people who will listen.

"Anyone I talk to, I tell them, 'take care of your parents. Take care of your aunts and uncles, your grandparents. Don't just do it for yourself. Do it for others. Do it for your neighbor.'"

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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