Losing a loved one is a traumatic event at any time. But experts say the ongoing crisis presents unique difficulties for people in mourning — from the suddenness of the loss, to the societal shifts happening around it.

And a huge number of people will be affected in the months to come.

“This will be a mortality shock that the U.S. has never experienced,” said Emily Smith-Greenaway, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.

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