As virus engulfs India, families from afar watch with despair

Bad news, knowing no time zones, arrives in a jarring burst of messages, calls and posts informing millions of members of India’s worldwide diaspora that yet another loved one has been sickened or lost to the.

Sometimes it comes in a barrage of WhatsApp messages first thing in the morning, and sometimes it lands in the middle of the night, as it did for Mohini Gadré’s father. A 3 a.m. call at his San Francisco Bay Area home let him know that his octogenarian mother — who had tested positive in Mumbai — was too weak to say her morning prayers, setting off a mad scramble to find her the hospital bed where she remained for days.

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