From Southern California to the State Capitol, this week hundreds gathered across California to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand the state economy reopen – but for many families who’ve lost loved ones to coronavirus, the protests are a slap in the face.
For Stacey Silva of Gilroy, the protests are painful. COVID-19 killed her father.
“It hurts my heart,” she said. “Unless they know the pain this virus causes…they need to know the pain that I’m suffering and others are suffering.”
Silva’s dad, Gary Young, was 66 when he died on March 17. Silva said he was a loving father and grandfather, employed at Lowes in Gilroy and well-known in the community. Just 10 months earlier, Silva lost her mother to cancer.
She said that not only did coronavirus rob her of holding her dad’s hand as he died, but she couldn’t give him the tribute he deserved.
“The inability to grieve and have a celebration of life is one of the hardest things,” Silva said.
She said she understands people are tired of sheltering at home and anxious to return to work. But she said that with no vaccine and the death toll rising she feels protesters are being reckless.
“If you are out there protesting and you bring the virus back to your family then what are you going to feel? You're going to feel the pain that I feel. Just stay home, it’s not that hard,” Silva said.