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For 20-Something, Happiness Turns Into Job Loss, Death.

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Until recently, Raymond Alarcon considered himself a happy, 22-year-old, working as a barista at a New York pet cafe and market in Astoria, Queens, when he was hit in quick succession by the worst outcomes of the coronavirus outbreak.


Alarcon, from East New York, Brooklyn, was not only laid off after the cafe had to close, but then in short order lost an aunt and a cousin’s grandfather to COVID-19, and saw his 54-year-old father Walter take seriously ill.


It was the last week of March when Alarcon and his family first received the devastating news that both his father and an aunt had been diagnosed positive with COVID-19. Then on April 6, while they remained hospitalized, his cousin’s grandfather died.


Alarcon’s aunt, who had been recovering, later worsened and became critically ill. Doctors disconnected her from a ventilator and she died April 16.


Meanwhile, Alarcon’s father was doing better as of mid-April.


"I spoke to him twice yesterday," said Alarcon on April 18. “He is finally able to speak and breathe normally.”


His father later returned home April 22. Alarcon said he is still recovering and is no longer contagious.


He added: "It is such a good feeling to see him not suffering as much physically. But emotionally, I think he is hurting right now because of my aunt Nelly's death. She was like a second mom to him."


But, he said, “being able to hug my father is such a relieving feeling.”

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