South Bay family loses both parents to COVID-19 on the same day

A family in Nestor is grieving after losing both parents to COVID-19 on the same day.

Their love story is something you would only see in the movies.

“He saw my mom in homeroom in seventh grade, and he said the moment he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her,” Cynthia Rodriguez said of her parents.

Five years later, Juan and Blanca Rodriguez eloped and had four kids. Blanca became an investigator for the Department of Transportation. Juan became a counselor for JobCorps. The happily retired couple led a beautiful life in South San Diego until mid-January, everyone in the family suddenly contracted COVID-19. The family said this was a surprise, considering they took extra precautions to stay safe.

“We quarantined, we didn’t go out, we didn’t go to stores, we did food delivery,” Cynthia’s eldest sister, Blanca Velazquez, said.

Just as the kids were recovering, Juan and Blanca’s symptoms took a turn for the worse. On Feb. 1, 2021, they were both rushed to two different hospitals. The family could only talk to them via zoom

“She talked to us, texted us. So we’re like, ‘Mom’s going to be okay. We need to worry about dad,'” Velazquez said.

Juan’s condition continued to worsen. Last Sunday, the family was told to say their goodbyes.

“My mom was on the zoom call, and my mom told my dad that she was happy to share her life with my dad, and she thanked him for being the love of her life,” Velazquez cried.

Just three hours after that zoom call, Blanca stopped responding to medication. Her daughters said it was as if she knew her soulmate was leaving soon. Blanca Rodriguez took her last breath on Feb. 8, 2021, at 12:30 a.m. Three hours later, Juan joined her.

“He couldn’t live without her, so he just let go,” Velazquez said.

Juan and Blanca Rodriguez were inseparable both in life and in death. They were both 67 years old.


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