First, the virus arrived in his city. Then his family.
On March 23, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced the California community’s first death of a coronavirus – an unnamed woman in his fifties – with sad news: “We had dreamed of this day and hoped it would never come.”
Garcia, a Democrat, will spend the next 140 days leading Longbysh, going through the worst health crisis of the century.
Long Beach is near the southern tip of the Los Angeles County, which runs the country in reported cases of the virus, and more than 180 people have died in the months since the first death. Garcia regularly gave briefings and wrote a column in a local article. He told his constituents that the virus was serious.
In nearby Western Kovina, Garcia’s mother.
Gabriella O’Donnell, also struggled with the coronavirus as a physician’s assistant at a clinic where she had worked for more than 25 years. The mayor said he was a “health care hero.”
But at some point, the family doesn’t know when Gabriella and her husband, Gregory O’Donnell, became infected. On July 13, Garcia announced that her mother and stepfather were hospitalized and on the fans.
“The Covida-19 health crisis is affecting our country, our city and my family,” Garcia said in a series of Twitter posts. “As a son and as your mayor, I promise to continue to guide us through this pandemic with determination and compassion.”YOU NEED TO SEE THIS SUMMER SUMMER
This work would only become more difficult.
On July 26, Gabriella O’Donnell died of complications from covid-19. He was 61 years old.
“She immigrated from Peru to the United States in search of an American dream – and she found it,” Garcia said of his mother. “He loved to help people and lived a happy and joyful life. It will always be our guiding light and the center of our lives “.
In an interview with Rich Archbold, editor of Long Beach Press-Telegram, Garcia said two of his mother’s proudest days came within a few years of Garcia and her brother graduating from California State University in Long. The beach. Since their family, a scholarship has been established in her family to help women and immigrant women studying health care.
In an interview, Garcia also said that he and his mother share a passion for comics and horror movies.
“She was a nerd like me,” Garcia said. “She liked going to Comic-Con. She enjoyed reading books about vampires and monsters. And he loved going to the movies. We went to see a lot of movies, and mostly we liked scary movies. ”
On August 9, the day after Garcia’s family worshiped her mother, her 27-year-old husband, Gregory O’Donnell, also died after her own battle with the coronavirus. Gregory O’Donnell was 58, Garcia’s stepfather and Jacob O’Donnell’s father, who on Monday reminded his father of a Facebook post, calling him a “great man and an extraordinary man.”
Jacob wrote to Gregory O’Donell, a small business owner for more than three decades, conveying his sense of humor and love for Jim Hendrix and Ice Zeppelin.
“Since my family has just been destroyed by losing my parents,” Jacob O’Donnell wrote in his honor, “I am comforted to know that they are together again, without any pain or suffering.”
Garcia and his family have received strong support from political leaders throughout California and the country. Two days after his mother’s death, the mayor received a call from former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I can’t say enough about how comfortable it has given me,” Garcia said on Twitter.
Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Who, as State Attorney General, swore to Garcia, told him, “My heart is broken for you and your whole family after another loss. devastating. Let your stepfather and mother be your guide for years to come. ”
Over the next few months, Garcia will have to continue to balance personal pain with the city’s worries about the virus, which still infects many of its residents.
“We are making progress,” Garcia said in an interview with Press-Telegram Archbold. “But we still have a long way to go and we should not give up. We are on the right track and we will do it together.”