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Central Texas community grapples with loss

Funeral homes, LULAC's AnaLuisa Tapia mourn the loss of loved ones
Posted at 8:39 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 21:43:58-04

As COVID cases continue to rise across Texas, there is understandably a rise in COVID-19 related deaths.

Hospital ICUs are filling up with more and more COVID-19 cases ... some never making it out.

Funeral homes, like Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen, are feeling a major case of déjà vu and a tragic trend they hoped to never see again.

"It’s very similar to what we experienced early in the year last year," said Steve Faram, general manager of Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home. "I can’t say that I really didn’t expect it but, I was kind of surprised as the numbers started increasing as they have.”

COVID-19 doesn't seem to care if you are rich, poor, good, or bad. It strikes everyone the same.

The devastation of the sudden death of a loved one to COVID-19 is something district 17 director of The League of United Latin American Citizens, AnaLuisa Tapia, tragically learned after her husband, Lorenzo, lost his fight against COVID-19 over the weekend.

"My husband went onto glory on Saturday the 21st at 3 a.m.,” said Tapia.

Tapia and her husband were putting off getting vaccinated due to work schedules.

Tragically, it turned out to be a decision she now regrets, and one she doesn’t want to see anyone else make.

"If there is a place you can take a shot, go ahead and do it," said Tapia. "Don't put it off and if you get a reaction call in. I would rather have had my husband call in than to have my husband not be here on earth anymore.”

Tapia has had a flood of phone calls and condolences, but she says the best way to honor the retired Army veteran she married, is to do the things he would do for others.

"If you knew that he would feed the homeless, go out and help somebody," said Tapia. "Go out and feed the homeless. If you knew that he would go and fix your tire, go and do that. Take that spot, fill that gap, and let's continue. Let's continue taking care of each other.”

Tapia is urging the public to take the vaccines and treatments seriously because COVID-19 is serious, and she doesn’t want other families to go through what she and her family are going through now.

Tapia said her message on the COVID-19 vaccine is simple, don’t put it off.