Family blames haircut after couple dies from COVID-19 just 10 days apart

CHICAGO (WLS) - What was supposed to be a simple haircut cost a Chicago couple their lives just days before Christmas. Their family hopes the story will serve as a tale of caution after several relatives were infected with COVID-19 in just one short visit.

After 59 years of marriage, Mike and Carol Bruno died 10 days apart after battling the coronavirus, with the former dying second on Wednesday night.

After 59 years of marriage, Mike and Carol Bruno died 10 days apart after battling the coronavirus, with the former dying second.
After 59 years of marriage, Mike and Carol Bruno died 10 days apart after battling the coronavirus, with the former dying second. (Source: Joe Bruno, WLS via CNN)

“We never thought this would happen to our family, and it did. This virus is really unforgiving and just attacks in really vicious ways,” said the couple’s son, Joe Bruno.

Joe Bruno says he, his brother, his sister and her husband also contracted the virus after he received a haircut on Nov. 20.

“My sister works in a salon, so just before Thanksgiving, my sister got a COVID test and was negative. She quarantined for three or four days after she got the negative test. 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?’” Joe Bruno said.

His sister brought their mother with her to his apartment.

“I did not hug my mom. I did not hug my sister. My sister cut my hair. She was masked, and all the windows were open. We were distanced in my apartment, and then, they left,” Joe Bruno said. “They were over for maybe 40 to 45 minutes. Later that evening, my sister started to feel symptoms. About three days later, I started to feel symptoms.”

The family’s story is a reminder of the tragedy COVID-19 can bring.

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

Still, Mike and Carol Bruno left behind a powerful lesson of love in the final chapter of their lives, one that the coronavirus couldn’t touch.

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

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