How a haircut led to COVID-19 deaths of Chicago couple

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An at-home haircut led to the coronavirus deaths of a Chicago couple who took every precaution they could prior to contracting the deadly virus, according to their distraught son.

Joe Bruno said his parents, Mike and Carol Bruno, died from COVID-19 just nine days apart after the couple, who were married for 59 years, got infected during a Nov. 20 visit to his apartment so he could get a haircut from his sister.

“We never thought this would happen to our family – and it did,” Bruno told WLS-TV Thursday. “This virus is really unforgiven and just attacks in really vicious ways.”

Bruno’s sister works in a salon and arranged to give him a haircut just before Thanksgiving at his home. She had tested negative for the virus prior to the at-home visit and quarantined for three or four days beforehand, Bruno recalled.

“I needed a haircut and she said, ‘Well, why don’t I just come by and cut your hair so you don’t have to come into the salon?’” he told the station.

Joe’s sister brought along their mom, Carol, for the haircut, which lasted about only 30 to 40 minutes, he said.

“I did not hug my mom, I did not hug my sister,” Bruno said. “My sister cut my hair, she was masked, all the windows were open. We were distanced in my apartment and then they left.”

But later that evening, Bruno’s sister felt ill, and she came down with symptoms of the virus about three days later. Their mother, meanwhile, was admitted to a hospital on Thanksgiving Day, just six days after the fateful haircut, CNN reported.

Her condition initially improved and she was discharged that week, but later returned to a hospital and was put on a ventilator. Mike Bruno, who did not go with his wife and daughter to his son’s apartment, came down with the virus about two weeks after Thanksgiving, Joe Bruno told CNN.

Carol Bruno, 79, died on Dec. 14, according to her obituary.

“Carol was a strong woman who cared for her family and overcame many challenges throughout her life,” the obit read. “She loved to cook, was a devoted wife, amazing mother and a gracious woman.”

Nine days after his wife died, Mike succumbed to the virus, CNN reported. He was on a ventilator when his wife passed away, their son recalled.

“I think the thing that gives us peace is knowing that my dad didn’t know that my mom passed away,” Bruno told WLS-TV. “To know that they went within less than 10 days of one another is such a beautiful thing. And you know, I would give anything to bring them back, but I’m so happy that they are together again.”

But Bruno, who has also since tested positive for COVID-19, along with his brother, sister and her husband, said he regrets his decision to get the haircut.

“Had I made that sacrifice and, you know, didn’t spend, you know, 30 to 40 minutes with my mom — they would still be here,” Bruno told WLS-TV.

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