New Yorkers mourn loved ones who died from COVID-19 in nursing homes

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New Yorkers gathered in Brooklyn on Sunday to mourn the more than 15,000 nursing-home and assisted-living residents believed to have died of the coronavirus — and rage over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the crisis.

On a bright spring day, the group assembled on Henry Street in Cobble Hill, some holding pictures of their loved ones, others signs with messages including, “We will never forget.”

“‘It might sound cruel, but I have to give it to you straight: ‘Your father is a dying man,’ ” Tracey Alvino said her dad’s doctor told her at the height of the pandemic. ” ‘He’s not gonna come back from this. … He’s going to die.’

“I never knew the name of that doctor. I don’t even know his face,” Alvino told the crowd of dozens. “Because of COVID-19, I had to make the decision to let my father go over the phone, with a doctor I didn’t know.”

Alvino’s father, Daniel, was among the state’s nursing-home residents to die of the coronavirus — and he was remembered Sunday on a local “memorial wall” lined with photos of the deceased.

“The decision still haunts me to this day, but it had to be made,” Alvino said of deciding to let “my father go.

“At that point, he had been on the ventilator for COVID-19 pneumonia for nine days, and every day was more grim than the one that preceded it.”


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