© Reuters. Fiona Tulip poses for a portrait in New York


By Maria Caspani

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fiana Tulip misplaced her mom to COVID-19 on the Fourth of July. Like so many others, she was not in a position to see her or say goodbye.

For Tulip, 41, that was the one starting of an avalanche of non-public and monetary loss and hardship introduced on by a pandemic that has now claimed the lives of practically half one million folks in the US alone. The heavy emotional toll was simply an excessive amount of to course of, short-circuiting her capability to grieve.

“There’s generally conditions the place folks do need to delay their grief, there is not sufficient area, emotionally, to do it,” Sonya Lott, a psychologist who focuses on extended grief, mentioned.

“In the event you can one way or the other preserve shifting, that lets you survive for a while, however ultimately that crashes,” she mentioned. “The grief does not go away.”

COVID-19 has now killed extra Individuals than World Struggle Two. January alone was the pandemic’s deadliest month – practically 96,000 folks misplaced their lives, in response to a Reuters evaluation of public well being information.

Even for these Individuals who’ve grown numb after a 12 months of grim statistics, the five hundred,000-death milestone is a startling reminder of the monumental loss the pandemic is leaving in its path. Even so, solely tales like Tulip’s can reveal the complete scope of the tragedy.

Shortly after the passing of her mom, a respiratory therapist in Texas, Tulip’s husband misplaced his job. She was getting sporadic work as a private coach however not practically sufficient to help her household.

They all of a sudden needed to fear about their funds and future job prospects in costly New York Metropolis the place they stay in a one bed room residence with their 17-month-old daughter Lua.

Within the following months, she suffered two miscarriages whereas the virus took her uncle and one other relative. Tulip mentioned that, tragedy after tragedy, she has not been capable of finding time and area to grieve all the pieces she has misplaced.

“I used to be a reasonably emotional particular person and since my mother died it is extremely laborious to deliver tears out,” Tulip, who has now regained full employment working as a communications skilled and is supporting her household, advised Reuters earlier this month. “I simply do not have time, and it sounds so heartless and callous. … I simply do not have time to sit down with it.”


Some consultants are nervous concerning the long-term penalties of delayed grief and, extra broadly, concerning the long-lasting results the pandemic goes to inflict on the nation.

“We should be involved,” mentioned Lott. “We’re taking a look at a tsunami of not simply grief however melancholy, anxiousness… all kinds of bodily situations due to the quantity of stress that persons are underneath individually and collectively because of the pandemic.”

COVID-19 has affected the lives of Individuals in myriad methods, whether or not it’s the lack of family members, unemployment or childcare.

This “multitude” of losses not restricted to loss of life creates better vulnerability for extended grief dysfunction, a situation wherein grief continues to be persistent, intense, and interferes with a person’s day by day functioning a 12 months after the loss of life of a cherished one, Lott mentioned.

The pandemic additionally took away most of the sources that folks sometimes faucet into to cope with hardship. It made it troublesome if not unattainable to are likely to a cherished one within the hospital, to attend a funeral or to easily hug and discover consolation within the presence of others.      


The final correspondence Tulip had together with her mom was a collection of textual content messages. “I’m tremendous weak, I must bathe. The cough is hurting me,” her mom texted her the day earlier than she succumbed to the virus.

“Simply relaxation. No must rise up,” Tulip texted again.

For Veronica Espinosa, the sudden loss of life of her father left her unable to totally course of his loss.

Her father died of COVID-19 shortly after Thanksgiving final 12 months in a Miami-area hospital. His situation deteriorated in a matter of days, and Espinosa, an solely youngster whose mom doesn’t communicate English, was in a position to see him briefly earlier than he died.

Nonetheless, she was heartbroken she couldn’t be by his aspect when he handed. “He died alone, we could not be there,” she recalled tearfully throughout an interview earlier this month.

As she grieved, different worries weighed on the 37-year-old trainer. Her husband contracted COVID-19 and his dwelling inspection enterprise took a success, placing on her the burden of offering for them and their younger son.

Espinosa is waiting for the tip of the pandemic with a mixture of apprehension and hope.

“I believe that after this begins to die down, it places issues into perspective and you are going to have the ability to suppose extra,” she mentioned. “The unhealthy factor is you are going to be flooded with feelings.”

Tulip can also be bracing for what lies forward.

“I’ve little question that may hit me laborious every time it does,” she advised Reuters. “So many issues will however till then I will preserve chugging.”