President Donald Trump’s continued silence, denial, and apathy have resulted in no planned public memorials, national days of collective mourning, moments of silence, or future permanent monuments to honor the thousands of victims of COVID-19.
Because the president lacks the necessary empathy to lead us in collective mourning I have written a composite obituary for my fellow Americans.
The individuals I have chosen exemplify the very best of what America still represents. The 160,000 dead leave behind 330,000,000 survivors. May the memory of their lives always be a blessing.
America’s COVID-19 Victims
Forty-seven-year old Bernice worked the graveyard shift at one of the essential meatpacking plant in the Midwest. After a valiant battle, she passed away from COVID-19. She leaves behind a husband and three children.
Because Bernice did not have health insurance her family owes hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have recently been evicted, live in a pay-by-the-week motel, and rely on food pantries for groceries. Because they are classified as “nonresident aliens,” the family will not receive any stimulus money. They have lived in the United States for 12 years.
Bernice’s husband was ordered back to work at the meatpacking plant the day after she died.
Sixty-six-year-old Henry rescued stray dogs and mentored teenagers on the Navajo Reservation near Tuba City, Arizona. He quickly succumbed to COVID-19 when a ventilator that would have saved his life was not available.
His surviving wife, four children, and six grandchildren are among the 30 percent of the tribe that lacks both safe drinking water and electricity. If the Navajo Reservation were a state it would have the second-highest rate of coronavirus infection behind New York.
Seymour, a 34-year-old ICU nurse in the Bronx, took his own life after 10 straight days of 12-hour shifts. His partner Robert said that when he wasn’t working Seymour could not turn off the horrific images he witnessed at his hospital. Yet, he refused to take any time off. “I can’t relax knowing so many people are suffering,” were among Seymour’s last words.
Ethan was a joyous six-year-old living in Tempe, Arizona. He loved skateboarding, board games, and the Arizona Diamondback baseball team. No one knows how he contracted coronavirus or why this young, robust healthy boy would be sacrificed.
His parents, who had thought that coronavirus only afflicted the elderly, have sold their home because the memories of Ethan haunt every square inch of the house.
Malcolm, 22, was the first member of his family to graduate from college, where he earned a degree in finance. He lived in Lawndale on Chicago’s South Side and attended church regularly. He had hoped to become a micro-loan lender for his neighborhood’s residents so, he said, “they could get a fair chance at the American Dream.”
His bereaved family wants everyone to know that 70 percent of Chicago’s COVID-19 deaths are African Americans.
William, 71, was a successful multimillionaire hedge fund manager from New York City who, when the city was hit hardest by the virus, fled in his private jet to his second home in Palm Beach, Florida. After arriving, he became ill with a high fever, a persistent cough, and shortness of breath.
Heeding President Trump’s suggestion of a possible “miracle drug,” William had a special supply of hydroxychloroquine flown in overnight from Switzerland. Even after hiring a private doctor and nurse, and somehow securing a ventilator, he died within a week of his arrival in Florida.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020
Ricky, 38, a welder from Detroit, died from COVID-19, three weeks after attending a “re-open Michigan” rally at the state capitol in East Lansing. A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Ricky carried his prized AR-15 during the protest.
He did believe in wearing a mask or adhering to social distancing because, as he told his friends, the virus was a hoax perpetuated by the media and gun control advocates. He believed President Trump when he said about the coronavirus, “One day it’s like a miracle – it will disappear.”
New Jersey nursing home resident Georgia, 102, was born in 1918, during the influenza epidemic in the United States. She served as a nurse during WWII and married Martin, a veteran of the war in 1945.
While in quarantine for the past two months, her two daughters and son were not permitted to see her in person. During her last hours, they were allowed to observe her and pray for her outside her window. When she finally passed, her children noticed that she was alone. They feel their grief is incomplete. Twelve other residents, two certified nursing assistants, and a custodian in the facility also died because of COVID-19.
The husband of Texas’ first responder Jasmine, 34, suspects his late wife contracted the virus from the dozens of 911 calls she responded to in March and April. He said Jasmine was extra careful, but because of shortages of personal protective equipment, she sometimes had to use face masks and gloves beyond their effectiveness. Jasmine’s husband now has contracted the virus and is in self-quarantine at their apartment in Dallas.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.