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Features

The coronavirus took more than his father

It's taken 12 of his friends - and now he has to move

Floyd Webb, 67, of Bolingbrook, feels the COVID-19 pandemic has left affected his ability to easily find good housing options.
Floyd Webb, 67, of Bolingbrook, feels the COVID-19 pandemic has left affected his ability to easily find good housing options.

Floyd Webb, 67, knew 202 would be a year of transitions. He just didn’t realize their extent.

His father Bennie Webb was battling lung cancer when he tested positive for COVID-19. He died May 2 at the age of 85.

Floyd, who lived and worked in Chicago, had been staying with Bennie at Bennie’s Bolingbrook apartment and helping to care for him. He’s still in the apartment but he can’t stay. Although Floyd said he filled out an application, he’s not on the lease.

He did submit an application with the Chicago Housing Authority in March, but the wait time is long, Floyd said.

Furthermore, because Floyd is a senior African American, he’d prefer to find a place in Will County as opposed to Cook County, which he feels is safer where the coronavirus is concerned, he said.

“I’m in the prime mortality rate,” Floyd said. “More black people have died than anybody.”

In a July 9 Herald-New story, Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, vice dean for diversity and inclusion, and chief of cardiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said covid deaths are 1 in every 1,850 black Americans, 1 in every 4,000 for Latino Americans, 1 in 4,200 Asians and 1 in 4,400 for white Americans

He said if black Americans had died at the same rate as white Americans, 13,000 more black Americans would still be alive.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty said “communities of color have always disproportionately experienced homelessness and housing insecurity.”

But the coronavirus has affected even the way people rent and maintain their apartments.

Apartment Guide has an entire section on its website called, "How Apartment Guide is Responding to Coronavirus." The guide offers an abundance of helpful links to renters.

“I never imagined the kind of problems I’ve having,” Floyd, a filmmaker, said. “My dad’s still not buried. We got him cremated but he wanted a military funeral…we’re doing it Dec. 13.”

Floyd said he’s still grieving his father and it’s especially difficult living in his father’s apartment without him.

He often finds himself picking up items at the grocery store and reaching for those his father preferred.

“It just creeps up on you,” Floyd said.

Floyd said he isolates himself as much as possible and practices healthy habits. He’s even planned a couple short films and is looking for freelance work.

In addition to his father, Floyd said he's has lost 12 friends to the coronavirus.

“In nine months I’ve never experienced this much death of people I knew,” Webb said, “outside of people having to go to combat.”

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