Daniel Morales
By Minerva Morales

Minerva Morales’ son, Daniel Morales, was an El Paso nurse who died of COVID-19 on Aug. 4, 17 days before his 40th birthday. He left behind a wife and four children, and many others who loved him. 

How does one explain to people that we should care for others? How is this taught? It should be ingrained in us.

There isn’t a word to somehow tell humans that this virus is evil, it steals joy, it ends lives, destroys families, creates financial hardships.

This holiday there are voids, empty chairs, lonely wives, children missing their dads, or their mothers, grandparents.  

Desiree Morales, 2, blows a kiss to a photo of her father, Daniel, who passed away from COVID-19. Her mother, Erika, asked her three older children to help keep their father’s memory alive for their youngest sister. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

Humanity can come together, united to stand up to this challenge to help those affected by COVID. Support local. Give, donate, respect all essential workers. Stop wasted arguments and just do something! 

Our elected officials should set the example, instead of publicly bickering over who they represent; saving lives or getting votes from prominent business investors.

Not taking COVID-19 seriously caused over 300,000 deaths. Yet our health-care workers face this grim reaper daily, risking their lives.

Where is our strength in El Paso Strong? This logo that hundreds of El Pasoans wore, posted throughout our city, should still show unity.

Elected officials come and go, but the essential workers have yet to skip a beat since this pandemic began. They are the true heroes.

Dominik Morales, 9, comforts his mother, Erika, as she recalls the weeks that her husband was sick. One of the hardest parts, Erika said, was not being able to visit Daniel and be with him when he died. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

COVID is measured in numbers, but there is a  face and a name attached to COVID.

COVID is my worst possible pain. COVID has caused pain for so many El Paso families. We will move on in pain.

Lives lost … forever remembered.

My heartfelt Christmas wish is one to El Paso families who are complete, not having lost a loved one to COVID. May you hug tighter, love longer, and be considerate of others who face the harsh reality of an empty chair this holiday.