A baby shower is usually something to look forward to. The mom-to-be’s friends and family gather together to shower her with gifts the baby will need, and to share their joy about the new baby.

These are unusual times we are living in, and many baby showers have been unusual as well. Whether via Zoom or a drive-by baby shower parade, moms-to-be are still finding ways to feel special and to celebrate. It’s just not the same.

In Brazil, a 31-year-old teacher named Camila Graciano was extra cautious about not getting sick. She was high risk since she suffered from obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. She was also 8-months pregnant.

Her co-workers decided to throw her a surprise baby shower. In ordinary times, that would be wonderful. In 2020, unfortunately, it ended in tragedy.

One of the co-workers started feeling sick and having symptoms of COVID-19 after the baby shower. She immediately told everyone who attended the party, and several people got sick. One of those people who tested positive for COVID-19 was Graciano.

Graciano’s family had a hard time finding a hospital with room for the pregnant mom. Eventually, she was admitted to a maternity ward and placed under the care of a specialist. This was on August 19.

Graciano delivered her baby via emergency c-section at Santa Casa hospital. Although the baby was born prematurely, the little one was otherwise perfectly healthy.

Graciano’s brother, Daniel Hélio Ambrósio, said, “After the birth, my sister showed significant improvement. The doctors even sent us a message saying, ‘Listen, have faith, because her lungs are improving, the heartbeat is improving (and) her blood pressure is improving.”

The family never gave up hope that the new mom would recover, but her health ended up declining. She died on August 22nd. 

In Brazil, so far there have been over 3.8 million cases of COVID-19, and a total of 128,000 people have died from the virus.

This is a tragic situation and a great reminded that even well-intentioned gatherings with family, friends and co-workers are not necessarily a good idea during a pandemic.