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The Victims Of COVID-19: Leilani Jordan, 27

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

More than 40,000 people in the U.S. have now died from COVID-19, and many of them were frontline workers - people like doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers and grocery store workers.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One of them was Leilani Jordan. She worked at a chain grocery store in Largo, Md. She was 27.

ZENOBIA SHEPHERD: She just loved her little job, doing whatever they needed, helping people.

KELLY: Her mother Zenobia Shepherd told TV station WUSA that Jordan had a disability that caused cognitive delays and impaired her vision. Despite being in a high-risk category, Jordan wanted to keep working. The store needed people for the early shift, a time reserved for seniors to come in and shop, so Jordan volunteered.

SHEPHERD: She said, Mommy, I need to work. Let me help people, Mommy.

KELLY: Her illness started with a cough. It got worse. She came down with a fever and then collapsed in the parking lot on the way into the hospital.

SHAPIRO: Jordan loved singing, getting her hair done and going to church, as her mother told The Washington Post. Her favorite color was purple, and she adored her service dog, a black and white Jack Russell terrier named Angel.

KELLY: Her mom says she used to call her daughter butterfly.

SHEPHERD: I know she's in heaven, and she's there welcoming everybody.

KELLY: Leilani Jordan was 27. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.