WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury has been hit hard by COVID-19. Mayor Neil O’Leary said 410 Waterburians have died because of the virus.
You don’t need to tell that to Frankie Thompson. He has lost four members of his family to COVID.
“I think that it is certainly the worst thing that I have ever experienced in my life,” he said. “I lost my grandmother, my paternal grandmother. On the very next day, I lost her daughter, who’s my mother, and just a couple of weeks after that I lost my grandmother’s younger sister, who’s my great aunt. Thirty days to the day after my mother’s passing, I lost my paternal grandfather.”
Thomspon told News 8 he feels empty knowing COVID took them away along with his family’s chance to hold proper Going Home services.
“There were, as we know, so many regulations and CDC protocols that were in place that disallowed us to be with family members,” Thompson said. “It hurt. It really hurt.”
Waterbury held a citywide COVID memorial service at the Mattatuck Museum Thursday, along with the NAACP of Greater Waterbury and Grace Baptist Church. Senior Pastor Kristopher Reece addressed the crowd, saying this is a reminder of how “we may be over COVID, but COVID isn’t over us.”
U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes urged people to wear face masks and to urge others to do so, too. Rep. Hayes is a COVID survivor. Her husband is, as well.
“I want to thank all of the people who put this together,” Hayes said. “For giving us the opportunity to just grieve together.”
Thompson says he appreciated the service.
“It shows people care,” he said.
There is another citywide COVID memorial taking place Saturday. It will be at the North End Rec Center from 3 to 6 p.m. That service is sponsored by the city, the Hispanic Coalition and Griffin Health.