Posted on: April 7, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Last updated: October 15, 2020 at 3:06 pm

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading rapidly throughout the globe, tragic stories have been coming out of every country that has been touched by the virus.

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Nurses and doctors on the front lines have died after being exposed to the virus while trying to save lives, families around the world are forced to say goodbye to their loved ones through iPad screens, and those who are left behind are in isolation and cannot hold a proper funeral for the person they have lost. 

A Mother Leaves Behind Six Children

The lives of one family in Washington State have been changed forever after suffering the tragic loss of their mother.

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Sundee Rutter was 42 years old and was raising her six children alone after their father passed away in 2012. In her last moments, her six children were allowed only to stand behind a glass window and say goodbye to her through a walkie-talkie.

“It’s a moment that nobody really ever wants to be in. I told her I loved her. I told her everything is going to be all right with the kids,” said her twenty-year-old son, Elijah Ross-Rutter. “Us older siblings, we’re going to make sure everything’s OK with them and that they’re going to grow up to be some adults that my mom would want them to be.” [1]

Rutter had survived stage 3 breast cancer and had only just been declared cancer-free in January. Having undergone surgery and radiation, her weakened immune system put her at a high-risk for contracting a more severe case of the virus.

“We were just starting to, you know, feel whole again,” said Ross-Rutter. “After this happened, it was just tragic.” [1]

The family will be staying together, and Sundee Rutter’s oldest son, who is twenty-four, will be taking custody over the rest of the kids. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help support them during this difficult time [1].

Read: ‘Pink Eye’ Often another Symptom of COVID-19

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One Tragedy Among Many

Sadly, tragic stories like that of the Rutter family are becoming increasingly common as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. As of April 7, there have been more than 1.4 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 81 thousand deaths [2].

The United States leads the world in the number of cases at nearly 390 thousand, more than double that of Spain, coming in second at over 140 thousand confirmed cases. The death toll in the US is the third-highest in the world, and has now surpassed twelve thousand [3].

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Tony Fauci, MD, is hoping to see the country’s curve begin to flatten in the next seven to nine days, but warns that we will be facing an extremely tough situation until the number of infections reaches its peak [4].

Changes Around the World

There is some good news, as European countries that have been global hotspots during the pandemic are beginning to see a decline in cases. 

The total deaths from COVID-19 in Spain have declined for the third day in a row, and Italy, the country with the highest death toll from the virus, saw their lowest number of new deaths in more than two weeks on April 5 [4,5].

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently stated at a media briefing that the number of deaths in the state has been dropping for the first time since the outbreak began. While it is still too early to know if that trend will continue, it is encouraging news for the state that has been hit the hardest by the virus. To date, there have been nearly 139 thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York, and nearly five-and-a-half thousand deaths [3].

Read: How Will The Coronavirus Pandemic Come To An End?

The 9/11 Moment

The US surgeon general, Jerome Adams, has compared the next couple of weeks to Pearl Harbour or 9/11. 

“[It will be] the hardest and the saddest week in most Americans’ lives,” he said in an interview with Fox News Sunday [6].

President Donald Trump has said that they are beginning to see signs of progress, despite the grim predictions from health officials.

“I think we all know we have to reach a certain point, and that point is going to be a horrific point in terms of death, but it’s also a point at which things are going to start changing,” said the president. “We’re getting very close to that level right now, and the next week and a half, two weeks, I think they’re going to be very difficult.” [6]

Despite the measures that have been put in place, experts are still projecting that between one hundred thousand and 240 thousand Americans could die from the virus. There are some signs that the state and federal governments’ efforts are working, and Fauci continues to stress to all Americans the importance of social distancing in order to get the disease under control.

 “Whenever you’re having an effect, it’s not time to take your foot off the accelerator,” he said. “And that’s what I hope. And I know that we can do that over the next 30 days.” [7]

Keep Reading: In Las Vegas, Homeless People Sleep 6 Feet Apart in Parking Lot as Thousands of Hotel Rooms sit Empty

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Brittany Hambleton
Team Writer
Brittany is a freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition and a writer’s certificate from the University of Western Ontario. She enjoyed a stint as a personal trainer and is an avid runner. Brittany loves to combine running and traveling, and has run numerous races across North America and Europe. She also loves chocolate more than anything else… the darker, the better!

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