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Teacher whose video of kids hugging went viral dies of COVID-19

A teacher in El Paso – Texas has died after a two-month battle with COVID-19 who had gained attention two years ago when she posted a heartwarming video of her students hugging each other.

The 35-year-old bilingual teacher at Dr Sue A Shook Elementary School, Zelene Blancas, succumbed to COVID-19 after spending nine weeks in an intensive care unit (ICU), ABC News reported.

Principal Cristina Sanchez-Chavira told local media that Blancas was a very loving person who always made an effort to share kindness, whether it was with a message or a note or just reaching out to her colleagues.

The schoolteacher’s video had gone viral on social media platforms which showed her first-graders who chose from a “good morning or goodbye” menu to give each other hugs, handshakes, high-fives or fist bumps. “What a nice way to end our week!!” she wrote in her Twitter post.

“What a nice way to end our week!!” she wrote in the post. She told the El Paso Times that she wanted the kids to feel like they “have a safe place to come back to and learn in a safe environment.”

teacher zelene blancas students viral video covid-19

Zelene Blancas had tested positive for coronavirus on October 20 last year and was taking steps on her own after having signs of recovery. Later, her condition worsened and she was intubated on November 22, according to her brother Mario Blancas quoted by CNN.

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