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McAllen woman who lost multiple friends to COVID-19 plans to keep the mask on

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MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — A McAllen woman said the heartache of losing loved ones to COVID-19 will keep her wearing her mask even after the state-wide mask mandate is lifted on Wednesday.

“One after the other, I had a couple — more than a couple of friends who passed away… I think I was attending a funeral just about every month,” said Martha Gonzalez, a COVID-19 survivor.  

Gonzalez lost friends and most recently her pastor.  

“I never got to say goodbye,” she said. 

With the state-wide mask mandate being lifted on Wednesday, she’s concerned for what’s to come.  

“I know it’s a choice, a personal choice, and we have the freedom to do it, but that’s my personal opinion because I’ve been affected by the loss of loved ones,” she said.  

Gonzalez added she’ll only return to businesses requiring them of their customers.  

“I’ve got my kids, my grandkids — that’s why I choose to wear a mask, not just because of me, because of others,” she said.  

She will feel comfortable easing up on precautions once the county records a major drop in cases. Until then, Gonzalez is keeping her mask on and asking others to do the same.  

“‘Do you love me?’ I always ask them. I start with that question,” she said. “‘Out of love for me, can you please wear your mask properly?'” 

Hidalgo County officials are asking the public to remain vigilant and continue with the use of personal protective equipment. 

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