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Remembering Coronavirus Victim Erlin Galarza

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

COVID-19 has taken more than 100,000 lives in the U.S. Throughout this morning, we are spending some time remembering just some of those lives.

Erlin Galarza drove New York City buses, and he was married to Ana Maria Galarza (ph) for 42 years.

ANA MARIA GALARZA: He loved the church. He loved his job. He was an MTA bus driver, and he contracted the virus while he was working.

MARTIN: He was known to be a slow and steady driver of those buses. He sang in two church choirs. Music enchanted him even as a boy in Peru.

GALARZA: When he was about 10, there was a big choir, and he went one night when they were rehearsing. And then the director came, and she said, no, you're too young. You cannot come in here. And he sat at the door for hours until they were done. And when he came to the United States, the first church that he visited had a choir. He got so excited, and he joined the choir until his death. So he was born with the music in his soul, I think.

MARTIN: Ana Maria says she misses how he would call her from work just to check in. Sometimes she still looks out for him in the lobby of their building.

GALARZA: He would tell me what time he was going to come, and I'd get to greet him at the door every afternoon or every night. Sometimes I forget, and I think he's coming. When you spend most of your life with a person and then this person is gone so quickly, it's hard.

MARTIN: Ana Maria Galarza remembering her husband, Erlin Galarza. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.