An unimaginable tragedy in New Jersey may have started around the dinner table of a big Italian-American family on March 3, where health officials say the novel coronavirus was an unexpected guest.
Two weeks later, the Fusco clan is reeling after the COVID-19 disease killed the family matriarch and three siblings, hospitalized another three and potentially infected more than a dozen others who were at that dinner.
“It’s absolutely surreal,” said Elizabeth Fusco, 42, who has lost her mother, two brothers and eldest sister within a six-day span. All of her siblings were in their 50s and her mom was 73.
“It’s like the second we start to grieve one, the phone rings and there’s another person gone, taken from us forever,” she told CNN.
Fusco and her remaining family are now hoping and praying that they can grieve in peace, and that matters won’t get any worse.
Three of her relatives remain in hospital, while 19 of them are in self-isolation amid concerns that they, too, might be infected with the potentially deadly disease.
“If they’re not on a respirator, they’re quarantined,” Roseann Paradiso Fodera, a relative and lawyer for the family, told the New York Times.
“It is so pitiful,” she said. “They can’t even mourn the way you would.”
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