Even as hope for an end to the pandemic grows, more than 520,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. We take a moment to remember five remarkable individuals lost to this disease.
Read the Full Transcript
More than 520,000 people in this country have died from COVID-19.
We take a moment now, as we do every Friday, to remember five remarkable individuals lost to this disease.
Matthew Hines was a loving husband father and grandfather who left the world better than he found it, as his son put it. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he served in the air force during the Cold War, and while stationed in England met his wife, Margaret. They were inseparable, family told us, and built a life together in Bloomfield, Connecticut, raising their children.
Matthew had a calming presence, his son said, and wanted to serve, whether in local politics, town planning, or at the veterans hall. Matthew Hines was 81 years old.
With a trademark toothpick and signature beanie, Tony Hall had a knack for remembering names. He grew up in Oak Harbor, Washington, but lost touch with his family and spent many years in state hospitals. Nearly two decades ago, he found a new family at People First, an organization that helps people with disabilities. He worked part-time at McDonald's while advocating for others like him to achieve their best in life.
A close friend said he was always first to offer help and a smile to anyone who needed it. Tony Hall was 58.
Veronica Gutierrez was a patient, kind-hearted, selfless person who loved to draw, her sister told us. The youngest of four children, she had worked at KFC for the past three years in Lovington, New Mexico, but was looking for a new job. Her sister said she was her best friend, and that she had loved working as a teacher's aide for children with special needs.
Veronica Gutierrez was 29 years old.
James Wong (ph) was a kind man who cared deeply for others, his sister shared. He came to California from China at age 6, and loved to read. In college, he began suffering from mental health issues, and spent a year on the streets, before reconnecting with his family.
He channeled his experience into a career as a social worker in Los Angeles. His sister said he wanted to help people who were suffering, in part because he remembered the people who were kind to him when he needed it. James Wong was 45 years old.
Zarina Rose was a mother and a nurse who put others before herself, her husband said. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to the U.S. at age 20, working in Las Vegas casinos while earning her degree as a registered nurse and raising three children.
Despite chronic migraines, her husband told us she would put her own pain aside to care for her patients in retirement homes. He called her "my superhero." She contracted COVID-19 while pregnant, and died from it shortly after giving birth. Her son Kenzo is now doing well.
Zarina Rose was 42 years old.
And we thank all the family members and loved ones who shared these stories. Our hearts go out to you, as they do to everyone who's lost a loved one in this pandemic.