Healthcare workers remember colleagues who died from COVID-19

Commerce read 60 names and honored 60 lives lost to COVID-19.

All were members of SEIU’s United Healthcare Workers in California. The union says they have consistently turned up to work in hospitals during the pandemic, even as COVID wards have been overcrowded. They were technicians, housekeepers, therapists, who the union calls healthcare heroes.

“She would always tell me if there’s a disaster, don’t look for me because I’ll be working at the hospital,” said a spokeswoman, whose mother Risa Luna died of COVID.

“He’s always worked extra shifts and always put others first,” said Michelle Farcia, who traveled from Las Vegas with her mother, Patricia Garcia, and aunt, Esther Macias. Her 38-year-old brother Pablo Hernandez worked in hospital transportation in San Bernardino.


“We relived everything,” said Patricia Garcia, “but it’s nice that they did it.”

“They deserve it,” added Esther Macias.

Some of the grieving families are calling on lawmakers to declare a national day of remembrance to honor all those who have died from the virus. Many of those who attended Memorial Monday never had the opportunity to hold a public memorial service or proper funeral. In some cases, COVID made this impossible. But on this day, they share a common pain and pride that their loved ones were heroes.

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