AUSTIN (KXAN) — As a coalition formed urging Austin ISD to go against Governor Greg Abbott’s order and enact a mask mandate, one Austin mom is sharing her family’s story.
Adriana Cantu has been posting photos and descriptions of her experience on her blog.
She says her son, Jack, brought home COVID-19 after being at a summer camp where some instructors and many other campers weren’t required to wear masks. She says Jack went to several other, smaller camps throughout the summer where masks were required and never had an issue.
With a medical history of seizures, Cantu says she panicked when Jack showed his first signs of the virus, running a high fever reaching 104 degrees.
“There’s just this cold fear of what’s going to happen to my child? Like, is he going to live through this? Are we going to take him to the hospital tonight?” Cantu told KXAN.
Jack’s little brother Galen tested positive for the virus next, and has also been dealing with high fevers. Now Adriana herself is COVID-19 positive, as well.
She says even after being vaccinated, she’s dealing with congestion, a fever and terrible chills.
For some families, the outcome is far worse.
Dell Children’s Medical Center told KXAN on Monday it’s treating an average of eight to 10 pediatric patients with COVID-19 symptoms a day. While the hospital’s leaders are still confident they have sufficient capacity and staff to continue caring for pediatric patients facing any medical condition for now, they are urging families to take precautions, as other cases of respiratory illnesses, like RSV, are also high among children right now.
A statement from Dell Children’s Medical Center reads in part: “We urge the community to get vaccinated to protect themselves and loved ones, and to lessen the burden of our frontline workers who have been fighting this virus for the last year and a half. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They are the safest and most effective way to end the pandemic.”
Cantu hopes her family’s story will encourage those against vaccines or masking to reconsider.
“It’s very little to ask to keep our kids protected, our family members protected,” Cantu said. “I feel like defending that stance of, you know, ‘I don’t want to get masked because of my rights. I don’t want to get vaccinated.’ I just really wonder is that, you know, the hill that we want to die on, because you feel you’re you’re losing your rights or your beliefs while children are dying and adults are dying from this virus?”