Home Precision Agriculture Remembering the Food Workers We’ve Lost to COVID-19 Part 3

Remembering the Food Workers We’ve Lost to COVID-19 Part 3


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an incalculable toll on the meals business staff of America, from restaurant servers and meat plant staff to the farmworkers who toil in fields. In accordance to analysis from the College of California, San Francisco, meals business staff’ danger of dying went up by 40 p.c from March to October 2020. For Latinx staff, deaths elevated by 60 p.c in the sector.

On this six-part collection, we’re honoring the lives of these we’ve misplaced to COVID-19. This week, we’ve tributes to an up-and-coming chef, a jewelry-loving hospital meals employee and a meatpacker who was devoted to his household.

Luis Dominguez

Luis Dominguez was the coronary heart of each kitchen he labored in. 

The Mexico-born chef was an integral a part of Dallas’ culinary scene, with a 20-year profession “that spanned restaurants in nearly every neighborhood in town,” in accordance to the Dallas Observer

When Dominguez and his cousin first got here to Dallas from Veracruz 20 years in the past, he discovered a job washing dishes at the Wyndham Lodge. He later went on to work at Tillman’s, Hattie’s, Rooster Scratch and Smoke, the place he collaborated with James Beard Award-winning chef and proprietor Tim Byres. Dominguez added Southwestern and Mexican spices and flavors to Byres’ barbecue dishes that will turn out to be specialties at the restaurant and stayed at Smoke for almost 10 years, till it closed in 2018. 

“He was always one of the happiest and [most] motivated persons,” says Jerry de la Riva, who labored with Dominguez at a number of eating places in Dallas. They first met in the kitchen at Tillman’s and shortly graduated from coworkers to greatest buddies. “He was always happy, always joking, even when he was stressed out,” he says.

When Dominguez contracted COVID-19 final summer time, he was working as the govt sous chef at HG Sply Co. After spending 18 days in the hospital following problems from the virus, he died on July 22, at the age of 38.

Of his many culinary abilities, the rising chef had an unmatched palate, says de la Riva. “I cannot find anyone else but him with that palate,” he says. “He could identify exactly what every recipe needed.”

Dominguez is survived by his spouse, Consuelo, his dad and mom, Jesus Dominguez Mata and Josefa Garrido Andrade, and siblings Jesus and Jessica Dominguez. 

“I wish he could be alive to see everything he’s done being recognized,” says de la Riva.

Marie Deus

Marie Deus liked to decorate with jewellery. If somebody informed her they preferred the necklace or bracelet she was carrying, she’d take it off and inform the individual to maintain it. She was simply that beneficiant. Plus, she had loads of different choices at dwelling.

Late final March, Deus referred to as out of labor sick, one thing she hardly ever did. The sneezing and coughing she was experiencing have been simply unhealthy allergic reactions, she informed her sister. A longtime germaphobe, Deus all the time saved hand sanitizer, napkins and masks in her purse—lengthy earlier than the pandemic prompted thousands and thousands of People to do the identical. “She was very freaky about germs,” says her youthful sister Yolanda Desir. “It’s one of the reasons we thought she’d be the last person to get COVID.”

The sisters grew up in Haiti, the place they all the time discovered time to play with their cousins. When their dad and mom died at a younger age, Deus made certain to take care of her solely sister. “She always took care of me like I was her daughter,” says Desir. 

When she was in her 20s, Deus emigrated to the US to research to turn out to be a dental hygienist, and she or he later labored as a nursing assistant. Final spring, she was working as a meals providers employee at Brigham and Ladies’s Faulkner Hospital in Boston, the place she helped put together and ship meals to sufferers and the place it’s believed she caught the virus. 

By April, Deus had been hospitalized and later examined optimistic, as did her grownup son, who battled the virus at dwelling. Desir took care of her sick nephew and referred to as the hospital day by day to examine in on her sister, hoping for excellent news. “I kept thinking ‘please resuscitate her for Easter.’” On April 22, Deus turned the hospital’s first worker to die from COVID-19.

At the time of her demise, the sisters have been working to purchase a home collectively, the place they deliberate to reside with their shared households. However the home felt unusual with out her sister, and Desir opted for a distinct one as a substitute. Nonetheless, recollections of her sister are throughout.

“She was such a fun-loving person,” says Desir. “She wanted to see all the positive in people. And she always tried to feed everyone.”


Jose Andrade-Garcia

Jose Andrade-Garcia was simply weeks away from retiring from his job as a meatpacking employee when he contracted COVID-19 final April. Though he was experiencing flu-like signs, he was afraid he’d lose his job or have an effect on his pending retirement, so he reported to work at JBS Swift & Co. in Marshalltown, Iowa, the place he had labored for 20 years.

In accordance to Alejandra Andrade, the youngest of his six kids, the facility didn’t supply masks or private protecting gear to her father. In April 2020, the League of United Latin American Residents (LULAC) of Iowa filed an OSHA criticism about the facility’s unsafe working situations in reducing, processing, break and dressing rooms. JBS was one in all the three main meat producers to shut US areas due to outbreaks. In accordance to the Washington Put up, the firm didn’t mandate the use of masks till April 13.

Andrade-Garcia was hospitalized on April 17. He died on a ventilator a couple of weeks later, on Could 15. He was 62. After his demise, his household expressed anger towards JBS for not imposing social distancing protocols sooner. 

An immigrant from Mexico, Andrade-Garcia got here to the States to work and ship cash dwelling for his household. He finally returned to get his spouse and their 5 kids and produce them to Iowa, the place the couple had one other daughter, Alejandra.

“He was an amazing father,” says Andrade. “He always taught us to work for our stuff. If we wanted something or needed a car, he told us to go work for it.”

Almost a 12 months after his demise, his household gathered to rejoice what would have been his 63rd birthday on April 22. “We remember him every day,” says Andrade. “We remember everything that he taught us.”


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