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Remembering three victims of COVID-19 and those they've left behind

An ICU nurse lost her mother and her husband within days of each other. A 38-year-old teacher, new to his district, was found dead by his own father. Over 400,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. These are a few of their stories.

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Over 400,000 people have lost their lives due to the coronavirus since it was first detected over a year ago in the United States. There are over 400,000 stories to be told.

Jason Englert was a new teacher to the Belmond-Klemme school district in Belmond, Iowa. It was just days after he found out he had contracted the virus that his father found him dead at his home. Kindergarten teacher Marne Markwardt felt inspired to do something in Englert's honor, and with the help of other teachers and students, raised $10,000 for the Jason Englert Scholarship. The scholarship will go to students interested in becoming teachers, like Englert. Even Englert's family wound up contributing to the scholarship.

“I just hope he knows how much he meant to everybody and how much he meant to our kiddos,” Markwardt said.

In Oklahoma City, a grieving widow and daughter hopes her family’s tragedy can teach others how dangerous COVID-19 can be. ICU nurse Lizanne Jennings lost her mother and her husband within just days of each other. In her words, their deaths left her and her son completely gutted.

"I wear one to take care of your family. All they had to do was wear one when they were around my family. I'm an ICU nurse, I help all these people and I couldn't save my own family," Jennings said.

You can watch these heartbreaking stories in the video player above.


We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading across the nation and world, and the stories about how people are coping, battling, and persevering through the pandemic have become more important than ever.

In each episode, “Field Notes” brings you a handful of stories about how coronavirus has impacted real people across the United States, and you can hear more about what it’s like to cover the pandemic from the local news teams that are committed to keeping you informed, no matter what.