900,000 New Yorkers Lost at Least 3 Loved Ones to Covid

Josepha Santana, 96, didn’t leave her Washington Heights apartment when New York City shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus in March 2020. But her son, the butcher, had to work. He was the only one to leave the apartment in the last few weeks, so he probably brought the virus with him.

Despite her family’s efforts to protect her, Santana fell ill and later died. She is one of three relatives whose granddaughter, Limarie Francisco, died of Covid-19 in the first year of the pandemic, Francisco said last week.

The toll was devastating for her. It’s also symbolic of the scale of New York’s loss and trauma in the early stages of the pandemic, and new city data published in The New York Times provides details.

Data collected on behalf of federal census takers in mid-2021 show that an estimated 2 million New Yorkers (nearly 1 in 4) have been exposed to someone nearby within the first 16 months of the virus’ arrival. We lost at least one. of the city. Nearly 900,000 New Yorkers have lost at least three people they said they were close to, an open-ended category that includes relatives and friends.

Francisco, 36, lost his uncle about two months after his grandmother, and then his aunt. But what affected her most to this day was the loss of her grandmother who raised her.

“I think of my grandma all the time,” she said. “I go to her graveyard every other Sunday and I just sit there and I just talk to her.”

Findings about the magnitude of the loss were among some from the investigation. New York City Housing and Vacancy SurveyThe study consisted of face-to-face interviews with a statistically representative sample of over 7,000 New York City households. Conducted every three years, the primary role of the survey is to assess the housing situation of New Yorkers, but Covid questions have been added to the 2021 edition.

That finding echoes previous research that documented black and Hispanic New Yorkers dying from Covid at higher rates than white New Yorkers in 2020. People of color made up the bulk of the essential workers reported to have worked during the first 11 weeks of closure.

About 1.1 million of the city’s 8.4 million residents continued to work from March to June 2020, the study reported. Of those, about 800,000, or 72%, are people of color, a broad category that includes all New Yorkers who are non-Hispanic or white.

Areas most affected by Covid, including southeast Brooklyn, the Bronx, upper Manhattan, and the southeast corner of Queens, have large numbers of essential workers. Those going to work delivered food, staffed restaurants, provided childcare and cleaning, or worked in healthcare and transportation.

Losing a loved one to the virus is more common among these workers, especially low-income and people of color, the study found. lost at least one person who was ill, but about a third of low-income essential workers of color died. 11% of all New Yorkers lost at least three to her Covid, compared to 16% of low-income essential workers.

Bronx resident Janeth Solis, 52, lost four loved ones in the first year and a half of the pandemic. Her mother, her step-grandmother, and her grandmother, who lived together in a house in Ridgewood, Queens, died one after another in the first few weeks of her pandemic. Her mother-in-law passed away in April 2021.

It wasn’t until this year that Solis was able to visit her grandmother’s remains, which were taken to her hometown of Colombia in June 2020.

“We weren’t really shutting down,” she said.

In New York, rates of depression and anxiety rose during the pandemic, especially among those who have lost loved ones or are experiencing financial hardship. Based on research on past disasters, these Easy to maintain effect Over the next few months or years, researchers at the Department of Health said.

“Mental health needs are growing everywhere,” said Dr. Ashwin Bassan, the city’s health commissioner. “And it’s very difficult to separate it from the effects of trauma and grief.”

By May 2021, about 33,000 New Yorkers had died from Covid-19, according to the New York Times least 6,000 New Yorkers has died since then.

Many New Yorkers also have relationships with people who died elsewhere.

Elyzabeth Gaumer, Chief Investigative Officer for the Department of Housing and Development, said:

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