Family warns others for short visits after losing mother, father to COVID-19 days before Christmas

CHICAGO – What should have been a simple haircut cost a man and woman their lives just days before Christmas. Now their son hopes their story will be a warning to those who want to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.

The Chicago family was left sad after several family members became infected with the COVID-19 in one brief visit.

The family hopes their tragic story of warning is a warning to others.

After 59 years of marriage, Mike and Carol Bruno died ten days apart after battling the coronavirus. Mike passed away Wednesday night.

“We never thought it would happen to our family, and it did happen, and this virus is really unforgiving and only attacks in cruel ways,” Mike and Carol’s son, Joe, said.

Joe said he, along with his brother, sister and her husband, also contracted the virus.

The family tragedy began on November 20 with a haircut.

“My sister works in a salon and so just before Thanksgiving my sister got a COVID test and was negative, and she was quarantined for three or four days after she got the negative test. I need a haircut had, and she said, ‘Well, why do I not just come down to your hair, then you do not have to come into the salon,’ ‘Joe recalls.
Joe’s sister took their mother to his apartment.

“I did not embrace my mother; I did not embrace my sister. My sister cut my hair, she was masked and all the windows were open,” Joe said. “We were far away in my apartment and then they were gone. They were maybe 40-45 minutes past. Later that night, my sister started experiencing symptoms, and about three days later I started getting symptoms,” Joe said.

Couples married for more than 47 years die of COVID-19 moments

“If I had made that sacrifice, and, you know, not spent 30-40 minutes with my mother – they would still be here,” he said.
“We need to double the social health measures we know work,” said Dr. Jay Bhatt told Medical Home Network. “So, I would just think about the risk of leaving yourself and others at home leaving for a family reunion.”

The story of the family is a reminder of the tragedy that COVID-19 can bring and brought in 2020 for many families.

“I think the thing that gives us peace is to know that my father did not know my mother had passed away,” Joe said. “Knowing that they went to each other in less than ten days is such a beautiful thing. And you know, I’ll give anything to bring them back, but I’m so glad they’re back together.”

Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.