It all happened in just 12 days, and Jami with his two siblings will never again know what happiness is.
In that short span of time, the 27-year-old youth from Rangpur lost both of his parents to Covid-19 and had one of his siblings fighting against the infection.
Even before he had time to grieve, Ehsanul Haque Jami, a student of Jahangirnagar University, suddenly found himself responsible for the entire family, faced a cash crunch, and embraced a trauma he seems to endure for the rest of his life.
Jami's mother had fever on 14 July, and developed serious breathing complications the next morning. Doctors suggested that Jami shift the mother to an intensive care unit (ICU) immediately.
After frantic efforts and lobbying, he managed an ICU bed on 16 July.
"But it was too late. Suffering from a two-day fever, my mother left us eventually. However, our nightmare was yet to be over as my father subsequently tested Covid positive and died on 28 July while undergoing treatment," he said.
"My father was just 57 and my mother was 52. It was beyond our wildest imagination that they would leave us so early," was the student's lament.
He said his examinations were still going on as he had to go to court to claim the bank savings of his father. "My mother was the nominee for my father's bank account. Since both of them are gone, we are not able to withdraw the money."
Relatives are supporting Jami and his two siblings for the time being.
"We have been through a devastating storm for the last two months, and it seems the turbulence will not ever end," Jami told The Business Standard.
"I used to laugh a lot just a couple of months ago. Allah has now wiped away our laughter for the rest of our life. I still cannot believe my father will never come to receive me as I return home on vacation from the university," added the student.
Like him, people who lost their loved ones to the pandemic have been in a limbo of grief as they speak out to remind the public that the total death tally is not just statistics, but rather that each of the fatality counts implies the beginning of a tormenting story.
Abul Kashem from Kushtia, a 70-year-old who had just retired from family affairs and job to spend his hard-earned leisure, wept while sharing his story of the loss of his son and wife.
His son Ali Ahmed died at 45 last year, and his wife also passed away seven days later.
"Uncertainty over the future, memories of my son and wife now give me sleepless nights," said the elderly person, who had to make a return to family affairs recently.
Ali Ahmed was a private firm official. He died after suffering from a two-day fever as his medical sample came out Covid positive after his demise.
Ali's mother tested positive two days later. She died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
"The virus has completely ruined my family," Abul Kashem told TBS. He said his neighbours ostracised the family after the death of his son as he could not visit his ailing wife at the hospital.
"It was a terrible time."
The daughter-in-law and two granddaughters now stay with the elderly man. The family makes ends meet with Abul Kashem's pension and savings.
Apart from the emotional trauma, many are now struggling with financial stress stemming from Covid medical bills.
After the death of her father in June this year, journalist Monswita Bulbuli lost her mother to Covid-19 in July. Subsequently, Bulbuli, her husband and daughter tested Covid positive.
Although two of the family members recovered after treatment, Bulbuli is yet to recover as she developed pneumonia twice, followed by the virus infection.
The journalist had to buy and install respiratory supportive machines at her apartment as she requires round the clock oxygen support now. Her hospital bills in the last two months alone amounted to Tk20 lakh.
Hefty medical bills and Covid management shuttered Bulbuli's restaurant, which had been a family-run business.
"We did not have a moment to mourn the demise of my parents since I am still suffering from post-Covid ailments. Meanwhile, deaths, horror, confinement and distress are traumatising my daughter. We are totally devastated, in jeopardy," she noted.
'Not sympathy, they need empathy'
Mental health experts say parents and offspring are the nearest ones in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh. People who lost loved ones in the second wave of the pandemic are yet to recover from the resultant mental shock.
"Many people who have lost their loved ones to the pandemic are susceptible to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and abnormal reaction," Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed, associate professor at the National Institute of Mental Health, told TBS.
It is not sympathy, he said, that distressed families need, but empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
"They should be encouraged to take care of their mental health," he added.
According to the health directorate, the age group of 60 and above makes up 55% of the death tally in Bangladesh. Therefore, public health experts have been advocating for additional care and precautions for elderly people during the pandemic.
Prof Nazrul Islam, a noted virologist and a member of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, said the elderly should be prioritised in the vaccination coverage. Besides, people should maintain virus safety despite the infection curve going down.