What We Can Learn From The Tragic Death of Nick Cordero

I found out that beloved Broadway actor Nick Cordero died yesterday from complications resulting from Covid-19 after I saw his name trending across social media. Also immediately, I felt that peculiar shuttering of my chest which I’ve long associated with fear, and grief.

Though I’d seen his name trend similarly before and felt similarly before, last night the worst possible news was confirmed. At only 41, he left behind a loving family, including his wife, celebrity fitness trainer Amanda Kloots, and his infant son, Elvis, the former who confirmed his passing with the below Instagram post.

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Amanda Kloot’s tragic post confirming the death of Nick Cordero

I’m not sure how much of a surprise this is, given his long illness, but it certainly is a horror. As a fan, I’ve followed Nick’s case as he’s been hospitalized for the last ninety-five days.

His name has been in the news since he first was hospitalized, and it has continually trended with each new complication. And his incredible wife has also publicly championed his case, sharing each development with over 465,000 fans and well-wishers via Instagram.

Now, there are so many horrible things about his death but one of the most horrific is what it represents, especially as coronavirus spikes across the country. Nick Cordeo was a healthy young man with zero pre-existing conditions.

And yet, on March 30th, he went to the Emergency Room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA with classic coronavirus symptoms. Two days later, Amanda reported on Instagram, stating that he was incubated. You might notice the insanely compressed timeline of Nick’s health declination, is mirrored by many of the more serious coronavirus cases and in many of the ultimate coronavirus deaths.

All the while, Amanda continued to bravely post about Nick’s condition, giving us, his fans, an insight into what it’s like to battle a serious case of coronavirus, a battle that over 132,000 Americans have lost.

After Nick’s initial incubation, Amanda posted on her Instagram that Since then has he has suffered an infection that caused his heart to stop, he needed resuscitation, he had two mini strokes, went on ECMO, went on dialysis,…an amputation of his right leg,…a sepsis infection causing septic shock,…holes in his lungs,…and a temporary pacemaker to assist his heart.” This all took place after only 38 days in the ICU.

On May 12th, he did awaken from his medically induced coma, sparking hope for family, friends, and fans alike, which tragically turned out to be premature. His wife Amanda went on to explain that though Nick was awake, “he (was) very weak so even just opening his eyes is a struggle, but it is happening.” He had a severe amount of symptoms, including damage to his lungs from Covid.

And these symptoms would later prove to be too much to bear, resulting on his death on July 5th. After Amanda’s tragic post, celebrities publicly out-poured their grief. But among their expressions of love and sorrow, were also words of warning and what we can all do to prevent new cases like this. Florence Plough expressed her condolences and then asked her followers to do what they could to reduce new cases of the virus. “Wear your mask, respect others’ space, clean your hands and please be safe. This is far from over,” pleaded the young actress.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson also had some sound advice for fans. “Incredibly sad news,” he tweeted above an article announcing Nick’s death. “Can we please do what we need to do as a country to fight this virus together? It doesn’t care how healthy you are. It doesn’t care if you want to go to Fire Island. It doesn’t care if you are tired of wearing a mask. Reign. It. In.”

Nick’s case clearly demonstrates that this virus doesn’t discriminate and that it isn’t clear who will get it or to what degrees of severity they will be impacted by. We need to learn something we haven’t time and time again: we cannot underestimate this virus, in terms of how transmissible it is or how severe it can quickly become. Nick’s passing is a clear indicator of that.

So, please, to avoid new cases like Nick’s and to honor his family, along with all the families who have been affected by pandemic, practice the following steps. If you don’t, you aren’t making a stand for freedom. You are saying you literally care less about the lives of those around you than about inconveniencing yourself.

1. Wear a mask

Wearing a mask is shown to effectively fight the transmission of the virus. As the below chart perfectly highlights, a mask is successful in blocking every respiratory droplet that could, conceivably, come out of your throat or someone else’s throat, thus preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The Mayo Clinic has further confirmed that wearing masks can block up to 95% of particles spread through air, highlighting the efficacy of wearing a facial covering.

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2. Wash Your Hands

Coronavirus is shown to be highly transmissible through contact and droplet transmission. And one of the most effective ways to curb the spread is to wash your hands often for no less than 20 seconds and with a bacterial or alcohol-based soap.

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The WHO’s recommendations for when to wash hands

3. Socially Distance

As noted by the CDC, the most effective way to stop coronavirus from spreading is to effectively social distance. The main way coronavirus spreads is from person to person contact over a period of time. By socially distancing you are not only protecting yourself but you’re protecting the lives of your friends, family, and community.

From Nick’s death, we can see that no one is safe from coronavirus. This pandemic is not over and it cannot be downplayed. If a healthy young man with all of the best and proper medical treatment can still go through what Nick went through, we need to all do so much better and work together to prevent these cases from happening.

There is still so much we do not know about the virus. Why is it that young people without any preexisting conditions still die from it? Why does it affect some people more than others? Until we have an effective way to save lives from it, we need to do our best to make sure all lives do not need saving.

Perhaps Amanda, Nick’s wife, put it best when she posted an update on Day 75 of Nick’s battle with corona. On Instagram she wrote “This is my reminder to you to stay safe, wear your mask, social distance and don’t leave your home unless you have to. You don’t want this virus. You don’t want your loved ones to get this virus.” After all, she would know.

Nick with Amanda and Elvis during happier times. Rest in peace.

Finance, healthcare, and technology nerd, aspiring writer, and pop culture junkie. All views my own. Work in progress.

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