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Aug 20, 2020

COVID-19 Ravages the Barillas Family

Seventy-four-year-old Iris Barillas was buried on Wednesday afternoon after becoming the fifth casualty of COVID-19 in Belize.  She was also the first woman who has died of the deadly virus.  Barillas’ husband, who visited the Belmopan Medical Center along with her, has also contracted the disease and has been battling its debilitating effects.  Sadly, he was the first person to be informed of his wife’s passing.  While his prognosis is much better today than the past few days, the elderly patriarch is yet to come to terms with the passing of his wife, as well as the infection of three other members of the Barillas family.  This afternoon, News Five spoke by phone with Jeanine Jones, a close friend of the family, who provided an update.


On the Phone: Jeanine Jones, Family Friend

“He has tested positive as well.  Over the past few days, it has been a battle, uphill and downhill.  What I will tell you firsthand about this virus is that you have extremely good days and you have extremely bad days and what we’ve also observed is that the attacks you get mostly in the nighttime, where in the nighttime he has been suffering from high fevers and of course we’ve just been giving him all the home remedies and trying to keep his temperature down.  He was really, really down to where he was at the point that he couldn’t even get out of bed to help himself and all that.  His health has progressed and all his vitals looked very good today.  We’re hoping and praying for a full recovery for him.  His contact information was the information that was in the system and so he was the first person notified when her health deteriorated.  When she was to be placed on intubation, he was the one given that ultimate decision and so it was very difficult from then.  Being told that she passed, he basically has been in like a trance, like he looked lost and saying little or nothing.  I think he’s made mention that he’s going to go visit her after all this is over at her site.  But they were pretty, pretty close, so I cannot even begin to imagine mentally what it’s like for him.”

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