CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (AP) — As the pandemic began sweeping America, the world watched as New York City’s streets echoed with the wail of ambulances. But in a little-known working-class New England city, the virus was starting to burn through the streets like a firestorm. Central Falls — the poorest and smallest city in the nation’s smallest state — is also among the hardest hit there by COVID-19. It’s a place where conversations regularly stumble into heartache. The dead husband. The mother who came from Guatemala in search of a better life, only to die in a new land. The Polish priest who buried parishioner after parishioner. But if you ask, people here tell you their stories.
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