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3 Things Not to Say To People Who Lost Loved Ones To COVID


In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside-down, I didn’t care what people said about it. Of course, I masked and stayed in lockdown, but when other people complained about the restrictions, it did really bother me. After all, the pandemic created inconveniences for millions of people worldwide, so I felt that they had every right to complain. (Even though I didn’t complain much myself.)

But on January 3, 2022, my brother, David, passed away after contracting COVID-19. He was only 26 years old when he passed, and he had so much life left to live. When COVID-19 took my brother, my heart broke — and my mindset towards the pandemic shifted. Since then, whenever people say that they won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine or believe that continuing to mask is annoying, I feel frustrated with them. I believe this will always be a sensitive topic for me. That’s likely also the case for families who lost someone to this awful disease. 

Here are three things not to someone who has lost someone to COVID-19: 

1. Please don’t say that the pandemic is “over.

COVID-19 is still very much a thing. The laws around masking might be looser, but people still get seriously ill from this virus every day. This pandemic continues to affect people, especially immunocompromised and chronically ill people at high risk for serious complications. And for those of us who lost family in the pandemic, this virus will always have a lasting impact. Sadly, COVID-19 still exists, and it could negatively affect your health at any time.

2. Try not to complain about wearing a mask.

I get it — masking can be annoying. It’s just one more thing to remember to bring with you, and it can make breathing feel really hard. But it’s important to remember that wearing a mask helps protect both yourself and others from ending up with a deadly virus. The CDC still states that wearing a mask can help lower the risk that you will transmit or contract COVID-19, and they also still insist that your mask needs to cover both your nose and your mouth. The thing is, wearing a mask is such a small but important thing to do, and it can prevent people from dying too young. I lost my brother, and my life changed forever, but if you wear a mask, maybe others won’t haver to go through the same thing.

3. Please don’t say that we’re “back to normal” now.

So many people say that everything is “back to normal.” Life looks a lot like it did pre-pandemic, but COVID-19 still exists, and it’s still killing people. All may be right in your world, but for those of us who lost someone we love to the Coronavirus, life will never be the same. Life will continue, but it will look drastically different for millions of families, so no, we will never be “back to normal.” We have to live with reminders of this pandemic every day when we see reminders of the loved ones we lost to COVID-19.

When I hear people complain about wearing masks or act like the pandemic is over, it makes me angry because I lost my brother to COVID-19 — and I’m not the only one. People need to continue to take the pandemic seriously to respect families who have lost loved ones and help keep their own families and friends safe. It’s 2024, but COVID-19 is still here, so please respect others and try not to spread the virus.

Featured Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash.



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