The Number of COVID Deaths Doesn’t Tell The True Story
This past week, our country passed an horrific milestone: more than 500,000 people died of COVID-19. It should not have happened. It is a tragedy many times over, for many different reasons.
The statistic is truly staggering: more than one half million people have died. It is very hard to wrap one’s head around this ugly reality. Yet, the death of a patient from COVID is not the end of a tragic story. It is actually the beginning of further tragedy.
Surrounding each of those deaths are friends and loved ones who are mourning. Yes, they are living on, and they are having to live with the pain of loss. They are having to endure a “year of firsts”: the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving, the first New Years, etc., without their loved one. It is not an easy year.
This ongoing pain is not reflected in that statistic. This ongoing mourning is not reflected in that statistic. This ongoing battle against an unspeakable grief is not reflected in that statistic.
This just compounds the tragedy that is the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. And it must move us to compassion.
I saw this today on LinkedIn, and it is very poignant. It shared a quote from Robin Williams, who said, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
Each of the multitude of people who lost loved ones to COVID-19 are fighting this battle against grief. I am still fighting the battle of my daughter’s loss, more than eleven years ago. We must try as best as we can to have compassion. It can be very hard sometimes, and we must still try.
We cannot let the scale of the tragedy numb us. We cannot ever get desensitized to the continuing death and destruction COVID-19 has wrought. More than 500,000 people — our fellow Americans, our friends, our neighbors — have died from COVID-19. We cannot ever forget.