Community vigil honors 1,100 Coachella Valley lives lost to Covid-19 – Community News

Community vigil honors 1,100 Coachella Valley lives lost to Covid-19

Nearly 1,100 people have died from Covid-19 in the Coachella Valley.

Those lives were honored Friday night at a community vigil at Veterans Memorial Park in Coachella.

With the alters set up, families were invited to bring along photos or special items of those who died as part of a candlelight tribute.

The event was presented by the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative, which includes the Desert Healthcare District.

“It’s been a year and a half, almost two years of suffering, death and disease,” says Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, CEO of the Desert Healthcare District. “We want to think about that, also to think about the lives we’ve lost.”

The program featured performances by the Desert Mirage International Dance club and prayer offerings from local priests.

Theresa Caballero’s 44-year-old son, David, died in January due to virus complications. She hopes people will deduce one thing from her experience:

“That everyone is vaccinated,” Caballero said. “I don’t want to get political here. Some people think it’s politics – I don’t. It’s about your health.”

Pressure continues to grow to vaccinate communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including parts of the eastern Coachella Valley.

“We want this community to be aware that we can only get out of this mess by getting everyone vaccinated,” Bárzaga said.

Some wish they had one last few words: “I miss you; I love you, and I wish I could have said goodbye,” Caballero said.

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