Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_01.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: (L-R) Curtis Lawrence Jr., Malene Lawrence, Corey Lawrence, and Curtis Lawrence III pose for a portrait in their backyard in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Corey Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence III are children of Malene Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence Jr. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_02.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: (L-R) Malene Lawrence, Corey Lawrence, Curtis Lawrence Jr., and Curtis Lawrence III prepare Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Corey Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence III are children of Malene Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence Jr. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_03.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: (L-R) Curtis Lawrence III and his father Curtis Lawrence Jr. watch Malene Lawrence fry string beans at their home in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_04.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: Corey Lawrence looks at a picture that was taken on Malene Lawrence's wedding while the rest of the family prepares Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_05.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: A photo of George Hawkins and his daughter, Malene Lawrence, in which Lawrence took him to a picnic in Central Park on Father's Day in 1991, is held by Curtis Lawrence III in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_06.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: (L-R) Curtis Lawrence Jr., Malene Lawrence, Corey Lawrence, and Curtis Lawrence III pray before their Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Corey Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence III are children of Malene Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence Jr. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Selects_07.jpg

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: In front of a picture of Malene Lawrence and her father, George Hawkins, at her wedding in 2002, the family toasts during Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Washington, District of Columbia on November 26, 2020. Corey Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence III are children of Malene Lawrence and Curtis Lawrence Jr. Malene Lawrence lost her father, George Hawkins, on April 2, 2020, to the COVID-19. (Photo by Shuran Huang for The Washington Post)

Art and Documentary Photography - Loading IMG_9941.JPG

In Print

Media News
On The Washington Post: 51 lost lives: A portrait of the pandemic's tragic toll in America's nursing homes
shuran huang
Jan 13, 2021
Location: Washington, D.C.

On this year’s Thanksgiving Day, I spent some time with Malene, Curtis Jr., Corey and Curtis III for their first family gathering without Malene’s beloved late father, Mr. George Hawkins. As a resident of Unique Rehabilitation & Health Center in Northwest Washington, George Hawkins died from COVID in April. 2, shortly after the coronavirus began to spread in nursing homes throughout the country. He would have been 90 this October.

Born in 1930 in Knoxville, Tenn., Mr. Hawkins was a conductor for the New York City transit system in the 1950, as the amazing investigative journalist at The Washington Post, Debbie Cenziper, describes as “a lifelong jazz and gospel music fan” who “was once written up for playing a Dizzy Gillespie song over the loudspeakers on the train.”

“The kids would just crack up laughing like, ‘Why is he making fun?’ ” Malene Lawrence said, recalling Mr. Hawkins’ sense of humor. “And I’m just like, ‘That was my dad.’ ”

“Though he was legally blind, Hawkins lived by himself in New York City for about 20 years without ever learning Braille or getting a home attendant or guide dog.” Debbie writes. “When Hawkins was sick and isolated in the hospital, Lawrence asked the staff for permission to play some of her father’s favorite gospel songs over the phone. As he drew his last breath, the music played in the background.”

The story, 51 lost lives: A portrait of the pandemic’s tragic toll in America’s nursing homes, was published on The Washington Post's website. This is part of an ongoing series of stories documenting the devastating toll of covid-19 in America’s nursing homes. It features 51 stories, written in collaboration with Debbie Cenziper by student journalists from Northwestern University’s Medill Investigative Lab and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. More work is posted on Instagram.


51 lost lives: A portrait of the pandemic’s tragic toll in America’s nursing homes
The 51 residents whose stories are told here, one from every state and the District of Columbia, left behind at least 129 children, 230 grandchildren, 210 great-grandchildren and 41 great-great-grandchildren.

shuran huang 舒然's Website

Originally from China, Shuran Huang (she/her) is a photographer who currently based in Washington, D.C. Shuran’s work focuses on memory, family, and heritage through moments of intimacy, reflecting on the missing connections in her childhood.
Website via Visura

shuran huang 舒然's Website is integrated to:
Visura site builder, a tool to grow your photography business
Visura's network for visual storytellers and journalists
A photography & film archive by Visura
Photography grants, open calls, and contests
A newsfeed for visual storytellers