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Lives lost to COVID remembered over Christmas

For dozens of Nye County families, the Christmas holiday was one of solemn sadness and mourning as they grieved for their loved ones who have perished due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those missing from the dinner table, who were not there to watch as the family came together to unwrap gifts or share a Christmas meal, left behind them a deep sense of loss and a gaping hole in the fabric of their families.

In sympathy with these tragic circumstances, one local resident stepped up to help ease the pain families are feeling, organizing a vigil he called Remembering Loves One Lost From COVID-19, Nye County. Ryan Muccio said he simply wanted to do something that would give residents the chance to honor and remember their loved ones and his tender gesture was undoubtedly a balm to the sorrow people are experiencing in the wake of their loved ones’ passing.

The Remembering Loved Ones Lost From COVID-19 vigil took place at Petrack Park over the holiday, with empty chairs arranged on the grass and luminary bags placed on the seats, each chair representing a Nye County resident who lost their life to COVID-19.

The chairs were set up the evening of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, with no formal ceremony held due to the restrictions regarding public gatherings and the need for continued social distancing. Those chairs then remained until the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 26, giving people plenty of time to stop by for a few somber moments of reflection. Many made their way to the park over the holiday and some even left mementos and handwritten missives in memory of those they are missing.

In total, 39 chairs had been placed at Petrack Park, representing the death toll as of Christmas Eve. However, in the week since, four more Nye County residents lost their battle with the dreaded illness and the death toll for the county now sits at 43.

“It was an honor and humbling to be able to put this together,” Muccio said after the vigil came to a conclusion. “Special thanks to Pahrump Party Supply for providing the chairs and for the owner Elise and her two sons helping set the chairs up. It was a somber sight, but I am glad we were able to honor these lives properly.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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