Transporting the Dead

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For the past two decades, Juan Lopez picked up bodies and cleaned up crime scenes in the Rio Grande Valley.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck the region, his job changed completely.

"When they first asked me to pick up a COVID body, I told them no," Lopez said. "I wasn't ready. We didn't know the protocols."

Lopez — and the rest of the Valley — learned quickly.

Since then, more than 1,200 people in Hidalgo County have died as a result of the virus.

"I wash my hands before I get home, wash my face, take off my clothes in my garage," Lopez said. "My kids want to hug me, but I try not to touch them until I get to shower."

Lopez said that seeing so much death affects him.

"I thank God because he put me here," Lopez said. "Without his strength, I couldn't do it."

Watch the video for the full story.


7 Days