Nearly one million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States and a number of victims' families in the Bay Area are now working to make a National COVID Memorial Day.
Nora Juarez-Faddis of Hayward lost both her dad and father-in-law to coronavirus on the same day, April 29, 2021.
“For our family it was traumatic. It was extremely traumatic,” she said. “Our children lost their grandfathers, both of their grandfathers on the same day.”
Almost six million have died from the virus around the globe and in the U.S. that number is more than 955,0000, each with a family upended by their loss.
“Our loved ones aren’t just numbers, they were people,” said Juarez-Faddid. “They were our people.”
She’s part of a grassroots non-profit called Marked by COVID.
They’re trying to start a nationwide COVID Memorial Day and will hold a virtual event this Monday.
It’s co-founder, who lives in San Francisco, also lost her father to COVID.
“We weren’t able to hold a proper funeral,” said co-founder Kristin Urquiza. “Our goodbyes were stolen from us. And while this doesn’t bring back our loved ones it is an opportunity to start to process.”
So far, they say more than 170 cities in 36 states took official action to proclaim the first Monday in March as COVID Memorial Day.
Now, they’re working to make it a federal holiday and have been pushing Congress to make it happen.
“We have 70 co-sponsors between the two resolutions that are currently in committee and we’re hoping that we can get those resolutions passed by the end of this year,” said Urquiza.
In an effort to stop – and never forget.
“We want the nation to have a day where we come together, and we remember all of our loved ones,” said Juarez-Faddis.