SAN ANTONIO – It's been a tough year for San Antonio Tejano singer Ram Herrera.
After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, performances stopped for Herrera. In May his mother died, in June he and his entire family got COVID-19, and last month his brother died of the virus.
"It's been pretty bad," Herrera said in an interview with KSAT 12. "My mom didn't actually die of COVID, but I think she died of a broken heart because nobody was able to see her anymore."
Herrera’s mother was 98 and living in a nursing home when the pandemic hit and visitors were no longer allowed.
"I don't think she ever fully understood what was going on," Herrera said.
A little over a month and a half after his mother died, Herrera and several members of his family tested positive for COVID-19.
While he and the others recovered, his brother passed away on July 15 after battling the virus for about a month.
"It was a big loss, it hurt a lot," Herrera said.
The losses of both his brother and mother inspired Herrera to get back into the recording booth and record the popular Christian song "I Can Only Imagine."
"I felt compelled to record it because I would imagine what my mom felt when she went to heaven when she died," Herrera said.
The song has been released and can be heard on Christian and Tejano radio stations.
Herrera is currently working to release a full-length album and hopes to hit the stage again in the near future.
As for a message to his fans and others about the virus, he says he hopes everyone understands that they need to start caring more.
“They should care because it’s no joke,” Herrera said. “Until it affects someone in your family then you’re going to know. Please wear your mask.”