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100,000 Americans killed by COVID-19, more deaths than any other country

100,000 means more Americans have now died from COVID-19 complications than from the Vietnam and Korean wars, combined.

NEW ORLEANS — Coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 100,000, making the U.S. the first country to reach the six-figures.

It took the country just four months to reach that grim milestone.

100,000, that loss of life can be hard to even comprehend. 

Putting it in perspective only deepens its sad reality.

100,000 means more Americans have now died from COVID-19 complications than from the Vietnam and Korean wars, combined.

Losing 100,000 is like the entire crowd at an LSU-Alabama football game suddenly vanishing.

It’s a quarter of the population of New Orleans.  Imagine one out of every four New Orleanians … gone.

It’s more people than the daily attendance at the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Each one of those 100,000 is more than a number.

Like Daniel Walters, a loving son and beloved Maître D at Clancy’s Restaurant in Uptown New Orleans.

“I got to visit Daniel after a month, but I had to view him through a window. I couldn’t hold his hand. I couldn’t kiss him,” Walter’s mother, Chris Clark said. “I’m scared. I want him to come home. I want him to come home alive.”

Walters passed away in the hospital.

Eugene Jefferson is another of those 100,000.

He was an Uber and Lyft driver and a friend of WWL’s Eric Paulsen.  

Jefferson described his struggle with COVID, just weeks before he died.

“I just felt week, shortness of breath, soreness,” Jefferson said.

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There were well-known victims.

Ellis Marsalis Jr. was one of those 100,000. The jazz pianist, teacher and patriarch of a talented musical family died from pneumonia, brought on by the Coronavirus.

“He taught us how to approach the music with reverence and majesty,” Marsalis’s former student David Torkanowsky said.  “It’s a Smithsonian level loss.”

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Who can forget the smiling face of a 7-year-old young boy in a New Orleans Saints jersey.

Messiah Howard was one of those 100,000.

“He never complained,” his mother Toka Howard said.  “Everything he was going through bags, needles, hospital visits, he never complained.”

Messiah was recovering from a life-saving bone marrow transplant from his sister, but COVID-19 crept in.

“I didn't even think about this story ending,” Toka Howard said. “I had no idea that when we walked in Children's this time, we wouldn't walk out together.”

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Just about all of us know or know of someone who died from COVID-19.

My family certainly feels the loss on our block in Lakeview.

Our next-door neighbor, good friend and community volunteer Jim Kenny passed away from the Coronavirus in April.

He was 76 years old.

There are currently more than 2,600 COVID related deaths reported in Louisiana. So far, a combined 946 people have died from the virus in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

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