California woman shares story of dad’s COVID-19 death to emphasize importance of social distance

Every day, the number of people who die from the coronavirus has risen. Behind each of those numbers is not just the face of the dead, but the families they leave behind.

"He was loveable, he was kind, anybody that he met on the street while he was working he would shake their hand," Stacey Silva said of her father, Gary Young.

Young died Tuesday after contracting COVID-19, just months away from his 67th birhday. 

He is one of the latest coronavirus victims in Santa Clara County, which continues to have the most cases in the state of California.

"You sit at home, you watch the news and it feels so far away until it reaches so close to home," Silva said of her father. "I wanted to reach out and tell his story because this is not a joke people."

The Gilroy resident said that her journey began on March 3 when her father took a trip to the emergency room to seek treatment for migraine and cough but was sent home.

Two days later, Young went to his personal doctor to seek treatment for the symptoms but was told to go back to the ER.

Five days later, he was admitted to a hospital in Gilroy where he was put on a ventilator because he couldn’t breathe on his own. He died, days later. 

"I will say this (that) I wish they did more, I really did. I wish he wouldn’t have been sent home because two days…two days could have meant my dad still being here," Silva told KTVU.

Amid her grief, Silva said she wants to bring attention to the activities that surround the virus in recognition of those dealing with the infection and those who’ve already passed away.

"Take this seriously," she said. "Stop joking about it on social media. It’s not a joke. It really isn’t," she said. "I want everyone to seriously put a face...look at my dad’s face. He was too young to die. He didn’t have to die."

Silva said she isn’t sure how her father got coronavirus but surmises that her father contracted the disease because he liked to shake hands.

Since she lived with her father, she said she and her family have been placed in quarantine for 14 days, but that health officials have not issued a test because there are no symptoms.

If yo're interested, you can donate to the family's Gofundme here.