In March 2020, the World Well being Group declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Two years later, greater than one million folks have died in america from the illness. To place a face on this quantity and pay respect to the departed, NPR requested our viewers to share songs that reminded them of a liked one misplaced to COVID-19. What follows are particular person tales of those that have handed, these mourning them and the songs that proceed to unite them.
My dad died in Jackson, Tenn., on March 17, 2021. He acquired sick in January, proper earlier than the vaccine would have been obtainable to him, and so they weren’t arrange correctly to get him the monoclonal infusion rapidly. That two-day delay was lethal. He suffered alone within the hospital however acquired nicely sufficient to be discharged with oxygen. Then, six days later, his lung collapsed and he was within the ICU. After two weeks on the vent, he instructed us he was able to die.
He was so joyous and vigorous! He liked music, from Three Canine Night time to the Stones and so many extra — largely ’70s, however he would dig the hair bands of the ’80s, Dave Matthews and every kind of rock. He liked to belt out “Pleasure to the World” across the kitchen or the pool whereas grilling. Final Christmas, I acquired my sisters and stepmom a shirt with that on it. It is simply foolish and enjoyable and lighthearted, and it jogs my memory of the occasions earlier than COVID grew to become our fixed fear and our nightmare. He had bronchial asthma, so he knew as quickly as COVID was on the market that it might kill him. He tried to be so cautious, however he nonetheless needed to work to pay the payments. He grew up within the nation and have become an lawyer with a small observe he constructed. That is all he did, and he liked it. He liked serving to folks. He needed two phrases on his headstone: “He cared.” —Danielle Hardee, daughter (Notice: The audio model of this story additionally consists of reminiscences from Danielle’s sister Katherine Alexander)