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A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000

“I can still see him there,” said Mr. Jones, the pastor. “It never goes away.”

There is a street corner in Plano, Texas, that was occupied by Bob Manus, a veteran crossing guard who shepherded children to school for 16 years, until he fell ill in December.

In the Twin Cities of Minnesota, LiHong Burdick, 72, another victim of the coronavirus, is missing from the groups she cherished: one for playing bridge, another for mahjong and another for polishing her English.

At her empty townhouse, the holiday decorations are still up. There are cards lined on the mantel.

“You walk in and it smells like her,” said her son, Keith Bartram. “Seeing the chair she would sit in, the random things around the house, it’s definitely very surreal. I went over there yesterday and had a little bit of a breakdown. It’s hard to be in there, when it looks like she should be there, but she’s not.”

The virus has reached every corner of America, devastating dense cities and rural counties alike. By now, about one in 670 Americans has died of it.

In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died of the virus — or one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, which has lost nearly 20,000 people to Covid-19, about one in 500 people has died of the virus. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13,000 people live scattered on a sprawling expanse of 1,000 square miles, one in 163 people has died of the virus.

Across America, the holes in communities, punctured by sudden death, have remained.

In Anaheim, Calif., Monica Alvarez looks at the kitchen in the house she shared with her parents and thinks of her father, Jose Roberto Alvarez.


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