City remembers lives lost to COVID as numbers rise once again

NOW: City remembers lives lost to COVID as numbers rise once again

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Health experts said even as COVID cases are on the rise once again, Americans are much better off now than we were a year ago.

Sunday, July 17, leaders from various communities met in Washington Park in Milwaukee to remember lives lost to COVID, both here and around the state.

"We want families to come together in a show of support and recognize we are not in this alone, we are all in this together," said Milwaukee Women's Coalition President Janan Najeeb.

Food, art, community resources and music were all part of the event in Washington Park put on by Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, the Greater Milwaukee Interfaith Conference, and many other organizations.

Governor Tony Evers spoke at the event as well.

"First lady Kathy Evers and I express our deepest condolences to the 15,000 Wisconsinites that passed away," said Evers.

Experts on the front lines in the fight against COVID say they have more tools than ever to keep people healthy, and one of those tools is Paxlovid.

"[People who test positive for COVID can now] actually come to the pharmacy without a prescription, which is really great for people," said Hayat Pharmacy Pharmacist Hashim Zaibak.

He said while there are some side effects, such as nausea, it can greatly decrease the severity and length of COVID-19 in people who have other risk factors.

"It's one of those medications where you have to start as soon as possible. The sooner you start it, the more effective it is, because after five

days of symptoms, it becomes ineffective," said Zaibak.

Zaibak was also at the city-wide vigil Sunday, he says as medical professionals continue to develop more treatments and push for more to be vaccinated, the situation will hopefully continue to get better.

"We are in a better position today compared to where we were a year or two years ago, but we're not at the end yet. Unfortunately we still have more work to do," said Zaibak.

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