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Remembering 5 people lost to coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is exacting a devastating toll on families and communities across the United States. Each week, we want to remember some of the tens of thousands of lives we have lost. Judy Woodruff shares five more stories.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we have been discussing tonight, the coronavirus continues to exact a devastating toll on families and communities across the country.

    Again, we take a moment tonight to remember some of the lives lost.

    Oscar Rosa was the go-to for friends and family seeking advice, homework help, or a favor. Everything he did was to support his family, especially his niece Amarey (ph). Bright and dedicated, Oscar excelled in debate, as a captain and a coach in his Los Angeles high school, and later in college.

    He would often mentor students on opposing teams. His family said he wanted everyone to learn and love debate like he did. Oscar was just 25.

    For nearly three decades, John Walter offered laughs and life lessons to his Parish youth group in queens, New York. As one former student put it, "He took a bunch of misfits and turned us into family."

    A long-suffering Mets fan and a lifelong New Yorker, his son Brian said John was usually the funniest person in the room. He was fiercely devoted to his wife of 57 years, Peg, their four children and two grandsons. The family proudly marched in the city's annual Autism Speaks walk, in support of his grandson James. John was 80 years old.

    Vanee Sykes believed in the potential of every formerly incarcerated woman, and co-founded a halfway house in the Bronx to help them reenter society and find jobs. It was an idea sprouted during her own time behind bars. Vanee spent nearly four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a scheme to steal food stamps.

    During that time, Vanee's husband of 20 years, James, passed away, but she spoke to their three children, Jeffrey, James Jr. and Alexis, every day. Vanee was 53 years old.

    Raul Guale Jr. was at his happiest spending time with his three girls. When Raul was in high school, he became a single father. That experience propelled him to study nursing and go on to work at an assisted living facility on Long Island. He met his wife, Marissa, and their family grew.

    They did everything together, family vacations to Disney, to food shopping and laundry. Raul was 34 years old.

    Victor Arzola's (ph) convenience store in Juarez, Mexico, was a neighborhood safe haven, with a self-designed loan system to help customers who couldn't pay. Victor's wife of 68 years, Belem (ph), was the love of his life. After she became ill in 2007, he dedicated himself to her care, settling down in Colorado.

    Rarely seen without his big cowboy hat and a smile, Victor became a U.S. citizen at 87 years old. His family said it was his happiest accomplishment. Victor was 93.

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