The Untied States hit a grim milestone this week by reporting more than 200,000 people have died of coronavirus.
It has been a difficult time for tens of thousands of families dealing with the pandemic across the country, but some are finding peace with their local deacon.
The Gonzalez family in the South Bay is an example. They recently all tested positive for COVID -- mother, father and their three children.
The family's physical pain from the virus was only half the struggle. Each parent faced the terrifying questions: Will they survive? Who would care for the kids if the parents became too weak?
Then the parents began to question their faith.
"Your faith is really tested during these times because you see so many things going on," parent Edith Gonzalez said.
A friend suggested the family call Ruben Solorio, who serves as the president of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose. But Solorio is also a deacon with the Catholic Diocese.
"I have never met Ruben. I never talked to him before. I didn't know who he was," Gonzalez said.
Solorio not only listened, but he also gave the family space to do something they were openly afraid to admit to: question their faith.
"I said to one family, it's OK to be mad at God," Solorio said. "He's a big boy. He can take it. Dish it out. Tell him everything you need to tell him."
Edith said during the pandemic her family has been "really tested, and talking to him was what we needed to hear at the time. It did help a lot."
Solorio has consoled many families during the pandemic, sometimes pulling over on the side of the road to talk to a family for an hour. He has also driven for an hour to listen to another family.
The deacon admits he is beginning to feel it.
"I've been working a lot and it's weighing a bit," he said.
But Solorio said he finds strength in the courage of the people who reach out. He said he uses no magic words.
"I'm hoping the holy spirit or God can inject in me the right words to say something," he said. "Or maybe it's not say anything at all -- knowing when to be quiet and listen."
While he is no doctor, Solorio has provided healing for many families in pain. He plans to continue doing so until the struggle that comes with the pandemic passes.