Omaha World-Herald: Coronavirus took his father's life. State Sen. Tony Vargas shares his pain to help others

Posted by Tony Vargas · July 14, 2020

Owh 071420

The coronavirus killed Tony Vargas’ father.

So the state senator from South Omaha, one of the hardest-hit parts of Nebraska, can honestly tell families struck by COVID-19 that he feels their pain.

Vargas has consoled. He has received consolation. But he would rather help people avoid the sickness, death and grief that the pandemic has brought to so many families. Even though it hurts to revisit his own grief, he uses his family’s experience to persuade people to take the virus seriously and take precautionary measures.

On social media, on Spanish-language television and radio, in English-language news outlets, in Zoom meetings and in person at food distribution and COVID-19 testing sites, Vargas has become one of the main faces of wearing a mask, social distancing and being tested. The senator has advocated for more testing sites and capacity, and for more protection for workers in meatpacking and other jobs that have been struck by outbreaks.

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Photo credit: Chris Machian // The World-Herald

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