NEWARK, N.J. — As the United States nears its 200,000th pandemic death, the losses are taking shape in heartbreaking ways.
In Ohio, it’s a boy too young for words of his own, planting a kiss on a photo of his dead mother.
In Michigan, it’s three siblings who lost both parents trudging forward alone.
And in New Jersey, it’s a 2-year-old girl in therapy over the loss of her father.
Sisters Katherine and Jennifer are now taking care of their young siblings, 2-year-old Jazzmyn and 4-year-old Zavion, after their mother Lunisol Guzman died of COVID-19.
Guzman, who lived in Newark, had adopted Jazzmyn and Zavion when she was in her 40s.
With eight in 10 American virus victims 65 and older, it’s easy to view the young as spared. But among the dead are an untold number of parents leaving behind children.
In their place, surviving parents, grandparents and siblings are juggling new responsibilities with mourning for the dead.