Westchester coronavirus lawyer’s family fears contagion will be their legacy
The wife of Westchester County coronavirus patient zero Lawrence Garbuz pleaded with the public not to blame their family on Tuesday — as the governor announced a mile-radius coronavirus “containment zone” centered on the family’s synagogue.
“I hope the Garbuz name becomes associated not as the ones with coronavirus but the ones who were instrumental in helping get this contained,” Adina Lewis Garbuz wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “Of course [Lawrence] went to the doctor and did so many times. No one figured it out and it even took the hospital days to figure it out. This was all new, he had no risk factors to presume he had this.”
Her comments came as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he was deploying the National Guard to enforce a “containment area” centered on the Young Israel of New Rochelle Synagogue where the family worships.
The National Guard will enforce the closure of “large gathering areas” within the radius, including schools, houses of worship, and other large gathering facilities effective starting Thursday for two weeks, he said.
“This will end. Quarantines will work and we will all be stronger for it,” Lewis Garbuz wrote.
Officials have said Garbuz did not travel to any coronavirus-stricken nations and likely got the bug from someone here — meaning the virus was spreading quietly before Garbuz’s diagnosis.
“I hope finding out about Lawrence and this cluster of virus is a blessing as it may well stop this all from spreading further,” the wife wrote, adding that maybe her husband is a “messenger of something good, that his illness was able to make us all aware of the problem.”
A source has told The Post that Garbuz was in a medically induced coma — and the wife’s post indicated Tuesday that Garbuz is unaware of recent developments.
“I want my husband to get better, and hope to have to worry about trying to explain to him all that has transpired while he was sleeping,” she said.
Lewis Garbuz, who tested positive along with two of the couple’s children, offered her prayers to other sick community members and said that hopes that she will soon be cleared so she could visit her husband in the hospital.
“I really hope I can be negative and cleared so I can be next to my husband who is left alone without his loved ones by his side,” she said.” I don’t want to think about what it will be like for him waking up alone.”
Westchester County has reported 108 cases, including the Garbuz family members, as the total number of New Yorkers infected reached 173.
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