“This virus doesn’t care about you or your family … that’s your job.”
Lauren Shavor’s grief-stricken words come from a daughter who lost her mother this month to COVID-19.
Connie Sparacello taught in St. Charles Parish Public Schools for 15 years before moving to John L. Ory in LaPlace. Lauren said her mother’s St. Rose household contracted COVID-19 in late July. Connie’s 15-year-old son was the first to be diagnosed, and later the virus spread to the three other siblings and Connie.
While everyone else has since recovered, Connie was hospitalized with a case that was unfortunately not as mild.
“While my siblings and I only got a few sniffles here and there, my mom was not so lucky,” Lauren said. “She ended up contracting Covid pneumonia, which resulted in her having to be put in the ICU.”
Lauren said her mother refused vaccination before her diagnosis, but that her thoughts on the matter changed once she became ill.
“My grandmother and I were the main members of our family trying to get my mom vaccinated,” Lauren said. “My family was pretty divided with half being vaccinated and the other half being on the fence. When my mom went into the hospital, they quickly changed their mind. Those who weren’t vaccinated, including my younger siblings who were old enough, soon got their first shot.”
Lauren said Connie had always been wary of doctors and medications.
“She said many times she wanted to wait until more people took it,” Lauren said. “She never gave a solid reason why she didn’t take it. In the hospital she was too weak to talk, but she would text. She asked my grandma if once she got out of the hospital she could get the shot. I think it was clear to her that she really should have taken it before then.”
Connie was eventually intubated during her hospital stay and died on Aug. 19.
“The thing I’ll miss most about my mom is her laugh,” Lauren said. “It was so unique. It filled every room she was in and it was super contagious. If mom was laughing, the room was happy.”
Lauren’s message to people who are unsure of the vaccine or who are hesitant to wear a mask is clear.
“It’s not worth your life,” she said. “I get the reservations about the vaccine … I get it. But not getting it puts you and everyone around you in more danger than necessary. What my family is going through right now … this immense grief … is preventable. If you don’t want to do it for you, do it for your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, your neighbor, your teacher and everyone you cross paths with.”