They too are heroes

Honoring those who died of COVID-19

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 6/30/21

MONTICELLO, NY — The surgical tape on her head read “Zoom Girl.” 

Amanda Langseder was working at Garnet Health. She’d just recovered from COVID-19 and come back to …

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They too are heroes

Honoring those who died of COVID-19

Posted

MONTICELLO, NY — The surgical tape on her head read “Zoom Girl.” 

Amanda Langseder was working at Garnet Health. She’d just recovered from COVID-19 and come back to work, when she was sent to the ICU, covered in PPE. There she held a tablet for the sick and the dying, while family members spoke to them, sang to them, or said goodbye.

Langseder talked about her experience at a vigil for the lost at the Sullivan County Government Center on June 23. A recording of the event was provided to the River Reporter.

Organized by community members Josie Omar, Sandra Oxford, Catherine Scott and Lou Setren, along with Sullivan 180, the night honored those who had fallen victim to COVID-19 as well as those who lived, either survivors of the disease or those carrying the agony of loss. 

Luminaria, provided by the Center for Discovery, lit up 78 mementos of those who had died.  

Health and family services commissioner John Liddle opened the vigil. 

“We are all extremely saddened by what happened last year,” said assemblymember Aileen Gunther. “My heart is just so filled with sadness after this year... as a community, it is imperative that we come together to say a prayer, look up to God for strength and try to just work together.” 

“We will always remember them,” said legislator Nadia Rajsz. “Anyone who lost a loved one, we love you and support you, and we’re here for you and we pray for you.” She talked about the importance of vaccines and read a piece that reminded everyone that those who died are also heroes. They helped us learn about the disease and how to treat it. “‘These people gave up their lives but did not die in vain.’” 

Everyone knows that music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, said Lou Setren. Whether you’re savaged “by the sorrow of loss or the pain of tears because of those who are no longer with us,” music helps us heal, he said, and reminds us that they are not gone. “They are with us always.”

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