Regardless of your age, if you have an underlying health condition, the coronavirus is deadly.
That is the sad reality for the CBS News family, as Maria Mercader, 54, passed away this weekend.
Mercader has worked for CBS for decades.
She generally covered breaking news and even while battling health issues over the last two decades, she continued to work full time.
That came to a halt this February when Mercader was forced to take a medical leave.
For more than 20 years, she fought cancer and other illnesses related to that fight, but the coronavirus proved to be an enemy her body was just not strong enough to battle against.
Being in New York, she was right in the belly of the beast, so to speak.
The outpouring of affection was immediate for Mercado, as expected.
Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer, stated, “Even more than her talents as a journalist, we will miss her indomitable spirit.
“Maria was part of all of our lives. Even when she was hospitalized — and she knew something was going on at CBS, she would call with counsel, encouragement, and would say ‘you can do this.’
“I called Maria a ‘warrior,’ she was.
“Maria was a gift we cherished.”
Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, EVP of Strategic Professional Development, CBS News, stated, “The Maria we are privileged to call family and friend knew better than most the power of relationships, loyalty, faith, kindness, perseverance, and a smile, even when a smile defied the darkness of the moment.
“Her notable professional contributions are part of the CBS Archives, but it is her magnificent human spirit that touched so many of us, that will stay with us forever.”
Her death brings home the harsh reality to the entire country that, regardless of age, if you are suffering from other illnesses, you need to remain secluded to avoid contact with those that may transmit the virus, especially if you reside in one of the hot spots of the country.
If you have friends, family, or a neighbor in these susceptible categories, reach out to see what you can do for them so they are not forced to go outside and risk contracting the virus.
Make them aware of the telehealth options available as well.
Rest in peace, Maria.