OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact felt by so many Oklahomans – and tonight a metro woman is sharing her family’s story.
Christina Sanchez lost two loved ones to the virus – and is now dealing with the effect it’s had on the job market.
“I would say they were considered newlyweds because they were married November of 2019,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez’s son Joe and his wife Lizbeth were just starting their life together
“They were just a little combined family,” Christina said. “This was going to be their first son together and they were so excited.”
But joy quickly turned to heartache in July of 2020.
At six months pregnant, Lizbeth was diagnosed with COVID-19, not long after, she was in the ICU.
The family prayed.
Doctors tried everything.
“She was crying, she was like, ‘they can’t take my baby,'” said Sanchez.
Tragically – her baby boy passed away July 19th.
“Then on the 31st, she passed away,” Christina said. “They say she died of toxic shock. I’m sorry, sometimes I think I’m over it and I’m not.”
It was a devastating blow in a desperate time for Christina and her family.
“Through COVID, at that time I was laid off from a previous job and I was applying everywhere,” she said.
When the opportunity came to be a contact tracer for the state, she took it, knowing she could potentially save families the same heartbreak she faced.
“It was thrilling, it was great, we went in every day and it was great pay,” Christina said.
But when the state ended the contact tracing program – it was back to square one.
“I can’t find a job,” said Christina. “I have my bachelor’s degree and I’m looking.”
Christina says she also does not qualify for the state’s $1,200 incentive for those who are getting off unemployment to get back to work.
“Where’s the incentive for all the people that have been working throughout all of this?” she said.
This mom, with a young child still in her home, is determined to find a job to contribute and pay the bills.
“I can’t tell you how frustrating that is,” said Christina. “I can’t tell you how disheartening it is.”
Christina says she shared her story of not qualifying for the benefit with the governor’s office.
She tells us they thanked her for her input.