NEW YORK (AP) — As COVID-19 restrictions lift in the U.S., many are reacquainting with friends and loved ones, attending parties, booking vacations and celebrating a return to normal.
But for Amanda Kloots, 39, a fitness instructor and TV personality, it’s not a return to the life she had before the pandemic, and it never will be. Her husband, Nick Cordero, died from complications of the virus after more than 90 days in the hospital. He was 41 and had no prior health problems.
Cordero was an actor and singer, best-known for his work on Broadway in musicals “A Bronx Tale”, “Waitress” and “ Bullets Over Broadway,” where he met Kloots. They married in 2017.
“I hope people don’t forget what our world was a year ago, said Kloots in an interview over Zoom from Los Angeles. “Because of what I went through and how traumatic it was… I will never forget what that was. And because of that, I’m taking a slow roll back into society. It’s a little harder for me to be back in huge, big groups. I’m not there yet.
Kloots has become a face of COVID-19′s devastation. While Cordero was hospitalized, Kloots posted updates on her social media. It led to a daily virtual dance party to Cordero’s song “Live Your Life” as a battle cry to wake him up. The well-wishes spread to celebrities including Sylvester Stallone and Priscilla Presley, plus people across the globe whom had never even met Cordero or Kloots, but felt emotionally invested.
Kloots says “it means the world” if her story has helped others who also went through their own loss from COVID-19, or just felt moved to appreciate life and loved ones.
In this rollercoaster year, Kloots says she’s gotten used to experiencing highs as well as lows. A major win came in January when she was named one of the hosts of CBS’ “ The Talk.”
Kloots has also released a new book called “Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero.” She wrote the book with the help of her younger sister, Anna, who along with their older brother, Todd, dropped everything and moved in to help care for the couple’s infant son, Elvis, while Cordero was hospitalized. Kloots writes that they helped create order and a sense of calm in her time of crisis.
AP: You really had to find your voice in becoming an advocate for Nick while he was being treated, at a really intimidating time. Would you advise people to do the same?