President’s tweet has left many friends and families of coronavirus victims disgusted and angry. How could they not let a virus that snatched a loved one from them dominate their lives?
Amanda Kloots, wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, who battled the virus for 95 days and died, was among those mourning the death of a loved one who disputed the president’s comments. Cordero and Kloots have a one year old son together.
“Unfortunately, that has dominated our lives, hasn’t it? It dominated the life of Nick’s family and that of my family. Guess we’ve “let it go” – like it’s our choice? », She wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately, not everyone gets the chance to spend two days in the hospital. I cried next to my husband for 95 days watching what COVID did to the person I love. It’s something I’m afraid of. “
Add insult to injury
Almost four miles from the hospital where she works in New Jersey, Dr Chris T.’s father passed.
“I didn’t expect this pandemic to rob her of her life,” she told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “And furthermore, I never expected a President of the United States to laugh and mock and just show contempt for the sanctity of the 210,000 plus lives that have been lost.” “
Pernell said Trump’s comments, telling people not to let the virus rule their lives, simply added insult to injury.
“How do you say that? My dad is gone, ”she says. “I will never see my father on this side of the earth again. ”
And like Pernell, Katie Coelho is learning to live without someone she loves so much. For Coelho, she is rebuilding her life without her husband, Jonathan, whom she and her two young children lost in April to the coronavirus.
Jonathan Coelho spent 20 days on a ventilator and 28 days in hospital. Katie Coelho never got to say goodbye in person. She only had an emotional farewell note that she found on her phone after she passed away.
“The pain we feel is indescribable,” she wrote on Facebook at the time of her husband’s death. “Everything has been stolen from us. My heart isn’t even broken, it’s broken. My kids and I are going to live the rest of our lives without Jonathan. And I don’t know how we’re going to do it.
After reading Trump’s comments, Katie Coelho told Anderson Cooper on Monday: “We deserve better, my husband deserved better, 210,000 people deserved better.”
“No one looks at him thinking he (Trump) is strong or courageous,” she said. “He’s weak because my husband fought Covid, my husband wanted to come home and he deserved it, and this man is using that as political propaganda to divide the nation when we are already so broken. ”
“He could have done so much good saying that Covid is scary and I’m sorry for all these families, but we’re going to go through this as a nation and as a country and he chose not to. ”
Kloots may not know the Coelho family personally, but they are bound by the same frustration of losing a spouse with Trump’s comments back home.
“After watching the person you love most die of this disease, you would never say what this tweet says,” she wrote. “There is no empathy for all the lives lost. ”
In her post, Kloots said she felt Trump was bragging, calling his actions and comments sad, hurtful and shameful.
‘I feel like a shell of myself’
And while Trump’s comments certainly angered those who have lost someone near and dear, they have also angered those who have beaten the virus themselves.
For Whitney Gregory, an emergency room nurse in Texas, moving forward with her life two months after beating the virus hasn’t been easy.
Debilitating fatigue, body aches, headaches and shortness of breath – she had it all. And she is still experiencing it all, two months later, despite a negative Covid test.
“The fatigue, shortness of breath, and headaches are too much for me to get through the day,” Gregory said. “I could never keep up with the rapid pace of emergencies. I feel like a shell of myself. ”
She has nicknamed herself “Long-Haul Covid” because of the impacts the virus has had on her day-to-day life. She said she tried 17 different treatments and medications without relief.
Gregory has been out of work since July, when she tested positive for the coronavirus.
As someone who suffers on a daily basis, seeing Trump play down the virus was offensive and extremely irresponsible, Gregory said.
“Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has lost a loved one during this pandemic,” she says. “We didn’t allow visitors to the hospital, so patients would die alone, without being able to speak to their loved ones one last time. ”
“Only the front line workers saw how devastating it all was for patients and their families. I would leave work crying because people should never die alone. ”
Dr Craig Spencer, an epidemiologist who survived Ebola in 2014, was particularly offended.
Spencer is the director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, once considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.