After spending 90 days in the hospital due to COVID-19, Nick Cordero lost his battle with the virus, leaving behind his wife and one-year-old son.
I'll spare you the details of what Cordero went through and instead focus on a different battle.
The battle Cordero's son will now have to face: never truly knowing his father.
I know I take it for granted, at times, that I have my father in my life and that he is alive and well and healthy. I have memories of him that will always remain in my mind, and I didn't have to go through my childhood knowing nothing other than what people told me about my dad.
That's all Cordero's son will ever know; stories, stories that aren't his.
Stories that people tell him, memories that people shove off on him, but he'll never have any memories of his own--that's devastating, to say the least.
He'll see pictures, videos and read articles about who his dad was and probably even read something about what his dad fought during his last three months of life.
He'll learn about his dad the same way he'll learn about George Washington or Barack Obama: through tales of what was.
If seeing a 41-year-old husband and father die from the coronavirus isn't enough to make you take this seriously, I don't know what will make you take it seriously. This virus has no bounds, and it has touched everyone from the youngest body to the oldest and everywhere in between.
It takes lives without remorse and spreads like rapid-fire. It's a virus, not a human, it doesn't have a conscience. It takes lives, like Cordero's, who have so much left to live for and see and do and experience.
It takes parents from their children and takes children from their parents.
It's not funny to go out to a bar and "see who catches the COVID first." These are lives, they're human lives, and they matter. Every single one of them matters.
Just because you may recover just fine from the virus, doesn't mean the person you spread it to will. That person could be the next Cordero and lose their life and leave a family behind. Leave a child behind to never know their parent.
Don't be selfish, be smart.