Untold Stories of the Pack


Gabriel Abboud

Gabriel Abboud smiles and gives the camera a peace sign.

Cristina Cornista, Opinion Editor

     It seems like everywhere you go; all you hear about is a disease that’s plaguing the entire world. News companies and social media alike have all featured the disease named Coronavirus at one point or another. To many, it has become a number on the screen but to Gabriel Abboud, a senior at Ridgeview High School, it has become too familiar when his mother got the disease.  

     “My mom’s an essential worker who works in the medical field and she’s pretty hands on with patients. My brother and I were staying at my grandparents’ house for a few days to help them out because they’re getting older. My mom had called me, and she said that her coworker had to go home because they thought she had COVID. My mom had to get tested and we were pretty freaked out, hoping that she didn’t have anything. But then a few days later, we found out that she did.”

       Abboud recounts the time he had to be away from his mom and had to stay in his grandparents’ house, saying, “We ended up staying there for almost an entire month and it sucked because my mom didn’t want my brother and I to come home and possibly get it from her. So, we had to be there for her but, not actually ‘be in person’ there for her. It was pretty scary because all I felt was: ‘How am I going to be there for my mother?’ She’s always there for me when I’m sick no matter what, but I can’t be there for her.”

    Before doctors confirmed his mother got COVID, Abboud and his family always checked up on her after she was exposed. “We talked and face-timed every day to check on her. And she was experiencing headaches at first. We didn’t know if it was because of COVID or stress from work or stress from thinking she might have it. Then when she tested positive all the symptoms rushed forward and she started experiencing them more.”

    Abboud recalls about the realizations he had during the incident. “I realized that I wanted to be there for my parents more because you never realize how much your parents are there for you. When you’re a kid, you don’t realize how much they take care of you, coddle you, and baby you whenever you’re sick. So, going through that and knowing I couldn’t do the same sucked. But we did the best we can. My grandma made a lot of food for my mom and I went and delivered them back and forth. I did everything I could to help out.”

     Fortunately, his mom is all better now. “She got it right before Christmas, so we were pretty freaked out that we weren’t going to be able to spend Christmas with her. It would have been my first Christmas ever without my parents. But she recovered right before Christmas and we were able to spend Christmas together. It meant a lot to me.”

     He expresses his thoughts about the people who don’t take precautions such as wearing masks in public, stating, “I think it’s stupid. Personally, I think you should wear a mask. It’s not harming you and is literally there for your safety. If you want to use the excuse that you have medical restrictions or issues that prohibit you from wearing a mask, you shouldn’t be out in public anyways because then you’re even more susceptible and be even more scared. We’re seeing all these results saying symptoms from getting COVID could be lifelong and be damaging to your brain and your lungs. Why would you want to get worse with those harmful side effects? It’s just stupid to me. Protect yourself.”

    He adds on, saying, “It just sucks to see people willingly spread this and willingly believe misinformation and just playing stupid when people have family members  risking their lives just to keep this country running. It’s just disheartening.”

    For people who are going through a similar situation, Abboud advises them to stay hopeful. “I know most people but not all people are religious, but I am. I prayed a lot and I stayed hopeful. I did all I could and I kept positive vibes and a positive mindset. And I find that helps a lot.”

    At the end of the interview, Abboud had four pieces of advice to everyone. “Wear your mask, stay clean, stay sanitized, and all that good stuff.”