Highland Park gathering remembers 615K American lives lost to COVID

Coronavirus US: Attendees also hoped to bring attention to COVID long-haulers

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Saturday, August 7, 2021
'They're not numbers': COVID victims remembered in Highland Park
"They're not numbers. They're people we loved," one attendee of the Highland Park event said.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- People came together Saturday in Highland Park to remember their loved ones who lost their lives to COVID-19.

The lives of some of the 615,000 Americans and counting were honored with yellow hearts at the gathering.

"They're not numbers. They're people we loved," said Lisa Nemacheck, who attended the event.

Nemacheck lost her mother to the virus in January, and is now using her experience to help others grieve. She also hopes the day of remembrance will honor the lives lost while shining some light on COVID-19 long haulers, survivors still suffering from symptoms months after being diagnosed.

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"They call if COVID fog, and it's a great description for it. It's like you know what you have to do, you know where you need to go, and this fog comes in, and you just can't see any way to get where you need to go," said Drew Murrie, a COVID-19 long hauler. "I'd like to see some form of help financially to get the help we need, the testing we need."

Nemacheck urges people to take COVID-19 precautions seriously.

"I want to get to the other side of this pandemic. I want people to have their loved ones in their lives," she said.

In the meantime, the group joins rest of the nation to take one step forward, one for each life lost to COVID-19.