NEW DELHI — Joefred and Ralfred Gregory moved through life as one.
They went to the same college. They studied the same thing. They wore matching clothes. They trimmed their beards the exact same way.
Identical twins, they were two handsome young men in northern India who above all else really loved each other. And when they both were struck by Covid-19 last month and hospitalized, it was like they shared one sick body.
Hours after Joefred died, Ralfred’s mother told him that his brother was still alive, to keep his spirits up.
But Ralfred sensed his brother was no more and said, from his hospital bed, “Mummy, you’re lying.”
The next day, on May 14, Ralfred died too.
The touching story of the twins who lived and died together has spread fast and wide on Indian social media, puncturing this nation’s numbing statistics — the daily Covid-19 case numbers, the death counts, the infection rates.
This is a country that has suffered so much and keeps suffering. Though India’s overall case numbers have dropped this past week, the deaths keep going up.
On Wednesday, India broke a world record for the most reported Covid deaths in a single day: 4,529. However alarming that number is — three Indians dying every minute because of the coronavirus — experts say that it is just a small fraction of the true toll and that the real numbers are far higher.