Fifteen relatives got COVID-19 after a small gathering

“My family has taken every single precaution with the exception of one and that exception has cost us so much,” Alexa Aragonez, 26, of Arlington, Texas, told TODAY. “We’re not some family that is outside of the norm. Unfortunately, we are the norm. Families gather together because we’re tired. We want to return back to normal life. But we just can’t do that yet because the pandemic is not over.”

After an impromptu birthday party, 15 members of the Aragonez family tested positive for COVID-19, with Aragonez’s mother spending seven days in the hospital. The family recorded a video hoping that their experience with a family get-together would show how easily the coronavirus spreads.

“I am quite fortunate that I can say that I didn’t lose 15 members of my family,” Aragonez said. “A lot of people in this nation are not as fortunate.”