Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The pandemic in the U.S. has vastly improved. For these families, the worst has just begun.


Alyssa Schukar, New York Times

Michele Preissler at the viewing for her husband Darryl, who died of COVID-19, at a funeral home in Pasadena, Md., May 26, 2021. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. are lower than they have been in many months and vaccination rates continue to slowly climb. But there are still about 450 deaths reported each day, and that has left hundreds of families dealing with a new kind of pandemic grief.

After more than a year of pandemic restrictions, many Americans are leaving their masks behind, making summer travel plans and joyously reuniting with family and friends. As more are vaccinated and new infections plummet, there is a sense that the worst of the pandemic is over in the United States.

But for people like Michele Preissler, 60, the worst has just begun.

Preissler lost her husband to COVID-19 in May, just as many restrictions were being lifted and life, for many, was starting to look more like normal. Customers were going without masks last week at the Walmart near her home in Pasadena, Maryland, where she was shopping for items for her husband's funeral.


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