Ananda Mooliya told his wife and two sons in his final moments that he was safe, though they could hear his labored breathing from the next room, over the sound of the TV.
Rajni Attavar his wife made soup for him. Mooliya had been struggling from bed. The 56-year-old subway station worker, with the aid of the eldest son, Amith, made his way to a kitchen chair in their home in Corona, Queens. His face beaded with sweat. His mouth shut.
“I wiped away his nose,” Attavar remembered in tears. “I called his name, then, and he didn’t respond.”
She sprayed its head with mud. Amith tested the slowing pulse of his father’s. His younger, 16-year-old son Akshay Mooliya called 911. EMTs arrived, and helped him breathe with a respiratory device for about 10 minutes.
We then put him down on the kitchen floor with a white blanket.
According to his death certificate, it was April 8, at 9:37 pm. Immediate causes of death were described as “Recent Influenza-like Illness (Possible COVID-19).” Several hours would pass until his body was picked off the floor and taken to a morgue — and almost three weeks until his cremation, family members stated.