Remembering those who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19

A year ago at this time, many of us were preparing for a much different Christmas season. We shopped and walked around stores, malls. We cooked. We traveled to our families’ homes, near and far. Some hopped on airplanes. 

We hugged each other. We sat on the same couches. We greeted each other with handshakes. We did so because it’s what we always do. And yet, a year later, here we are, with such a different way of life, a shattered way of doing things, a brand new way of doing just about everything.

In this country, there are more than 300,000 people who celebrated the holidays in 2019 who will instead be represented by empty chairs at the dinner table in 2020, because their lives were cut down by this hideous virus.

There are more than 300,000 families whose lives have been turned upside down and who may never be the same because of this hideous virus.

There are many families, locally, whose 2020 Christmas won’t be the same, like the Hacketts, who lost Artie several months ago and the Battistas, who lost Patricia just a few weeks ago. We could continue to list names, but you get the idea, don’t you?

The idea that far too many innocent and good people won’t be around this Christmas — all because of a virus whose name we barely knew at this very moment one year ago.

But it’s still a reality, one we’ve all faced in one form or another.

As we gather around the table this year, perhaps a smaller table either because the fear of being together or because we’ve lost someone we love to COVID-19, may we remember all who have died in this last year.

It’s going to be difficult, without question. It didn’t have to be this way. But if we allow the memory of those who have died over the last 12 months to shine through, maybe, just maybe, it will serve as a reminder — though we’ve all lost so much, we still have each other.

And we’ll all be stronger and better off for it in the end.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.