Many victims of the novel coronavirus take their last breath through a ventilator. Often, they are alone. Their loved ones are prohibited from being with them in person, but if they are fortunate, they might catch a last glimpse through a smartphone screen. In these patients’ final moments, it is the doctors and nurses who see the virus’s grim toll, bearing witness behind facemasks and protective gear. Roughly 50,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, most of them taking place in the eerie isolation of an intensive care unit. But an uncounted number of victims have died in a markedly different way, suddenly robbed of life in their beds or on their couches, in the home where doctors had told them to shelter for safety. Many of their deaths are not factored into the national COVID-19 death toll because medical examiners did not have the capacity to test them for the virus. While family members of those who die at home have seen death’s pallor, their grief takes many shades. Some are angry, wondering whether things might have turned out differently if a doctor had directed their loved one to go to the hospital. Some are grateful for


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