Things That Matter

Both Parents Of 4-Year-Old Texas Boy Die Within Months Of Each Other From Covid

There has been positive news about vaccines for Covid-19. However, the virus is still raging in the U.S. and causing avoidable deaths. A story out of Texas is highlighting the threat of Covid still today after a mother and father dies leaving behind a soon-to-be 5-year-old.

The parents of a 4-year-old boy in San Antonio died from Covid months apart.

Adan and Mariah Gonzalez are two of the more than 240,000 Americans who have died of Covid. The tragic deaths of Adan and Mariah, months apart, left 4-year-old Raiden Gonzalez alone as his birthday and holiday season near.

“Sweet Mariah Gonzalez left the world this morning unexpectedly due to COVID 19  She joins her husband and best friend, Adan Gonzalez who recently passed due to COVID-19,” reads a GoFundMe set up to help Raiden. “They leave behind their beautiful 4-year-old son Raiden who loves his parents more than anything. Mariah’s bubbly personality, amazing teaching and makeup skills, her joy of motherhood, and beautiful smile will be so beyond missed.”

Raiden’s story is highlighting the growing toll of the worsening health crisis.

The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 cases every day for the past 12 days. These numbers are breaking records for most infections in one day. Texas has seen a recent spike in Covid cases, along with all U.S. states but Texas was the first state to cross the grave milestone of 1 million cases. Despite the increase, Texas officials have not moved to reinstate restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

“Seeing the good data [in late summer] seemed to send a signal that we were in the right direction and we were in the clear,” Angela Clendenin, an epidemiologist at Texas A&M University told WFAA. “And I think people lost their vigilance.”

This virus is still running rampant in the U.S. and cases are spiking, as predicted.

Experts are urging Americans to be safe and smart this holiday season. The holidays are posing a very real risk of an explosion in new cases if people don’t adhere to guidelines. Health experts have come out strongly against indoor, in-person gatherings for the holidays to get control of the virus.

“My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS News. “I would love to have it with my children, but my children are in three separate states throughout the country and in order for them to get here, they would all have to go to an airport, get on a plane and travel with public transportation.”

Raiden’s birthday is Nov. 28 and his family wants to give him the best one possible.

The GoFundMe page includes the information for anyone wanting to attend the “Roar and Wave” birthday party. There is also an address included for anyone who wants to help Raiden celebrate with gifts and cards.

“He likes dinosaurs, he likes monster trucks, he likes Hot Wheels,” his grandmother and caretaker Rozie Salinas told NBC News. “But being that he picked the dinosaur theme for his birthday, he really liked it.”

READ: New Covid-19 Lockdowns Are Coming To Parts Of The U.S. And Here’s What You Need To Know

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Things That Matter

Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Felix Aguilar / Getty Images

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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Beauty Queen Who Was Abandoned At An Airport As A Baby Reconnects With Her Birth Mother 40 Years Later

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Beauty Queen Who Was Abandoned At An Airport As A Baby Reconnects With Her Birth Mother 40 Years Later

Marcel Thomas / Getty

Like many adopted children, Elizabeth Hunterton grew up aware that her nonbiological parents loved her. According to a recent interview with the former beauty pageant queen, she also had many dreams and ideas of how she came to be one of millions of children to be adopted every year in the United States.

As a young girl, Hunterton spent her youth dreaming that she’d come from royalty and had “been lifted away on the talons of a majestic eagle.”

Eventually, she learned that the truth was far more personal and tragic.

In January 1980, Hunterton was abandoned at the gate of a Nevada airport by two pilots

“I was about 10 days old,” Hunterton explained to People magazine in a recent interview. “I grew up my entire life trying to figure out what I did in those 10 days that ultimately led to them saying, ‘Let’s just leave her at the airport.'”

While Hunterton was adopted into a home soon after her abandonment the beauty pageant queen says in the years after, she often lamented a part of her life that she felt was missing. Fortunately, after taking a 23andMe test this past August, Hunterton has connected with her biological mother for the very first time.

Having had little to work with in regards to finding her biological parents (this includes having no birthplace, birth date or race) made life difficult for her when she was younger.

“It was really through this process of finding my birth mother that I’m able to rewrite my narrative,” she explained in the interview with People. “I had really prepared myself to be rejected by both sides of my biological family… And It ended up being so much more beautiful than anything I could’ve written.”

Hunterton was raised by a white family and crowned Miss Nevada in 2004.

Despite having a happy and loving upbringing, Hunterton felt lost about the uncertainty surrounding her own race. According to People, she often wondered if “everyone from her friends to her Starbucks barista were somehow related to her.”

“When this all started unfolding, there were certainly points that I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I’ll just walk away now,’ because it just got hard,” she explained. Eventually, in 2018, DNA databases helped Hunterton track down her biological father. Unfortunately, she soon discovered that he had died in 2004, and had never known she had been born.

Soon enough her search brought her to 23andMe where her profile found a few hits in March. Eventually, Hunterton reached out to three different women hopefully that one of them would be a match. All three ultimately proved not to be a match and Hunterton decided to give up after so much disappointment.

“I pulled out my bucket list, crossed it off, wrote her name down, and that was it,” she explained before sharing that just as she began to change her focus back to raising her 5- and 6-year-old sons, she received a ping for another connection. This time it came from a second cousin who offered to help put her in contact with her birth mother.

Hunterton soon learned that she had a Black father and a Japanese mother both of whom met at the Fort Ord military base. She also learned that she was born in a hospital in California and had not been intentionally abandoned.

“When I received her email, she shared that she wasn’t able to take care of me as she believed I deserved,” Hunterton explained to People. “Therefore, she gave me to her roommate who was supposed to take me to an adoption agency. When my birth mother was told that I was actually left at the airport instead, it took quite a toll.”

Hunterton explained because of her connection to her biological mother she was able to track down her birth certificate.

In an emailed statement to People Hunterton’s biological mother explained that at first she was “surprised, scared and truly overwhelmed” by the idea of meeting her daughter.

“I was shocked to hear from her and by the amount of research she did. It was all very overwhelming and brought back a lot of painful memories,” her biological mother who remains anonymous to People but shared that she is 65-year-old explained. “However, it’s also a tremendous blessing to find out what a strong and wonderful woman she turned out to be. One day, when we’ve all healed a bit more, hopefully, we’ll be able to meet.”

“She has such a good heart,” Hunterton explained of her mother. “We exchange occasional emails and texts and holiday niceties. But the good thing is, I have a mom. I don’t need to put any unfair, unrealistic expectations on her. I just give her permission to be exactly who she is and it’s perfect.”

“She’s now giving herself permission to live her life and it’s actually pretty beautiful,” Hunterton went onto explain of her biological mother. “She says, ‘All my hopes and dreams are in you. I never thought that anybody that looked like you could come from me, somebody that’s poised and eloquent and successful. Those are just things that never happened for me. But here you are.’ So now she’s living her life, and it’s pretty beautiful to watch her heal and kind of come to life… I think that was a really beautiful way for the story to unfold, that in the end, it flowed so beautifully, both through my mom, myself and my birth mother. It really kind of unified all three of us in different ways. But it was all I could’ve ever hoped for to hear from her.”

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