COVID survivors all across the nation are wearing yellow, the color of COVID remembrance, for the month of August and gathering for awareness, including dozens on Saturday night in Bakersfield.
Families brought signs and photos of their loved ones who died from COVID-19. This virus has claimed the lives of over 1400 people in our county alone, according to the Kern County Public Health Dashboard.
Aileen Brooks who lost her father to COVID-19 in February, talked about the importance of having a designated day of remembrance, when many people didn’t have a chance to properly say goodbye to their loved ones.
“These people were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, and now they’re all gone,” Brooks said. “And the way they passed, you were lucky if you got to say goodbye to them at their hospital room window with the use of a cell phone or FaceTime.”
Saturday’s gathering also aimed to bring awareness to COVID survivors and those among them who are COVID long haulers. Those are people still dealing with lingering symptoms of the virus,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. There were blue flowers at the event to honor them.
COVID-19 survivor organizations and members of the public were also at Saturday's event. Cynthia Sanders with COVID Survivors for Change also lost her father to COVID-19. She said their organization is hoping to make this an annual remembrance.
“It’s bittersweet to be able to come together for an event like this, to find healing with strangers who are now your brother and sisters in grief,” Sanders said.
This event is a part of an initiative taking place across the nation. COVID Survivors for Change has had over 30 marches across 20 states nationwide, according to Sanders.