While practicing social distancing, Fil-Am singer-songwriter AJ Rafael has managed to perform amid the coronavirus pandemic, entertaining fans as most of the country tries to ride out the crisis from their homes.
Rafael also opened up on his YouTube channel about his thoughts and feelings on the pandemic, while showing support for health care workers.
“It’s kind of hard for me to get away from the effects that the virus is having, on the community and the world. I’m thinking about my mom a lot. She’s a nurse, at any time, she works in the operating room at any time she can get called to help with the COVID patients.”
This past weekend, Rafael took part in Loopfest to benefit the Grammy Foundation.
The pandemic has also devastated Rafael’s family — with his cousin and his uncle losing their battle to the deadly virus.
On Sunday, Rafael announced that his cousin Renee Garcia passed away due to COVID-19 in New Jersey, just two weeks after Renee’s father Renato also died from the same cause.
In a s0cial media post, the singer-songwriter said he was heartbroken, especially for the surviving family members.
Prior to Renee’s passing, Rafael and other family members had been looking for plasma from COVID-19 patients who have recovered.
Early research is showing some success treating patients with the blood of recovered patients because of antibodies.
While Renee, a bodybuilder in her early 30s, did manage to find a donor, she unfortunately did not make it.
A GoFundMe for the Garcia family has since been set up, with friends and family complementing Renee’s positivity through it all.
As for Rafael, losing two family members and having a mother in the frontlines, has only strengthened his pleas for people to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19.
He also encouraged people to keep the faith — playing some Sunday mass music especially dedicated to his devastated family.