Over 150,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. The obituaries that have followed in the aftermath have been, of course, numerous. The New York Times took a full front page to name thousands of those who have died when the death toll passed 100,000. Some have written obituaries that explicitly call out folks who refuse to wear masks, politicians who refuse to enforce stay-at-home orders, and those who even outright deny the science of COVID-19. One obituary in particular — for David W. Nagy — has caught the eyes of the national media for its sheer clarity and anger.
After David W. Nagy, 79, died in late July, his wife, Stacey, wrote an obituary that both took Texas Governor Greg Abbott, President Trump, and the American people to task. While the obituary starts with the normal trappings of grief — explaining that Nagy passed away, who he is survived by, and what he loved to do, it takes a turn quickly. “Family members believe David’s death was needless. They blame his death and the deaths of all the other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott, and all the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives… also… the many ignorant, self centered and selfish people who refused to follow the advice of medical professionals, believing their ‘right’ to not wear a mask was more important than killing innocent people.” Nagy’s obituary is far from alone in this new trend.
After Fiana Paulette Garza Tulip’s mother, Isabelle, passed away in early July from COVID-19, she wrote an op-ed that was published in the Statesman in the form of a direct letter to Governor Greg Abbott, who, through inaction and stonewalling local governments from being able to enforce mask orders, has failed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Isabelle was a respiratory therapist before she died.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) August 3, 2020
“I write to invite you to the burial of my mother… She was one of the 525 Dallas County residents who have died so far from COVID-19… My mother likely contracted the virus at the hospital where she worked during the period when your Executive Order No. GA-18 forbade local governments from implementing their own safety measures, such as the wearing of masks, to protect the public and healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19. There is no doubt that poor policy and terrible leadership were responsible for her death… As hospital beds filled up across the state, you finally issued a statewide mask order on July 2, too late to help my mother… Your inaction and active denial of the devastation from COVID-19 has made it clear that the people dying, and the families they’re leaving behind, are just numbers to you… I invite you to her burial to witness our family mourning this incredible woman who gave her life to save others.”