The Narrative
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The Narrative

Every Number Is A Person Who Is Loved

No, things cannot go back to normal yet.

Photo by Filipe de Rodrigues on Unsplash

When I was in high school, I despised the fact that students were seen as merely numbers. The number you rank, your number in a placement exam… just another number in a system. Some universities see your number and decide then and there you won’t be fit for their institution, without looking at the hardships that could’ve affected that number, what you accomplished and what you aspire to do in life.

I accepted that I couldn’t change that system, and did my best to play their game. Though I couldn’t change being seen as another number then, I could change seeing others as numbers. Especially now, during these arduous, unpredictable times.

Every morning I wake up and see the news, as I’m certain most are doing now. I watch people debate about what the best course of action is, what the government is or isn’t doing, and see the statistics of human lives lost and affected increase monumentally each day. Then the statistics about the state of the economy — people without jobs, the stock market, predictions on what the next month will look like. It’s all overwhelming, painful.

The debate now is when to open up the country. When to allow people to work, study, and gather with their loved ones. When to allow those living paycheck to paycheck to return to their jobs. When to end a hell that many are living in, a hell of worrying how they’re going to provide the next meal for their children, how they’ll pay their rent, or how they’ll pay for their children’s education. The list goes on and on.

Everyone is being affected. I’d love for things to be alright again just as much as those wanting to end quarantine and ramp up the nation once again. What struck me was hearing a news source say what they’re willing to do for that — stating that it’s alright to sacrifice your grandparents for the sake of the economy. Excuse me, what?

First, it isn’t just the older people who are being taken from us. It is those with compromised immune systems. It is those who won’t be able to be treated properly due to the lack of hospital resources. Due to choosing to not go get tested and treated due to the state of America’s healthcare system.

Second, they’re not “old people” — they’re humans. They are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, friends, mentors, educators.

The daily update on the lives lost because of the virus isn’t just a number — they’re humans. They’re everything to the people who love them.

So how do we protect everyone? How do we protect those who are vulnerable while protecting families, businesses, peoples futures and the whole global economy?

You stay put. There are injustices people face, things that have been taken apart that could have drastically improved the current situation, and people who have downplayed the magnitude of COVID-19 in its early stages that lead to us being here now.

We cannot fix everything right now, go back in time, or return to normal and have the virus magically disappear. My own future is now uncertain, just as the futures of my friends, family, and many people I know, delaying their plans, having everything they’ve worked for slowly diminish or facing unimaginable circumstances. But they know that if we don’t stay put, millions of people will perish. If we don’t, hospitals will keep running out of beds and supplies, putting thousands of lives at risk. If we don’t remain inside our homes, playing our part, the state of the economy will worsen, causing millions of people to lose even more.

Just as with previous obstacles humanity has faced in the past, we learn and improve. Viruses are not going to go away. In fact, they will keep happening. We’ve seen it in the past, we will see it in the future. Every nation must be prepared. Massive changes must be implemented in this country to lessen the economical and social impacts of pandemics.

So we stay put. We learn. We do what we can for those around us, we love every person in our lives deeply, and we fight. We fight so every single person has what they need and deserve, for humanity to come together, for leadership that prioritizes the people, and for a future where we always win.

We stay inside and play our parts because every number is a human being.

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Isabel Orozco

Isabel Orozco

Taking on life around the world and writing about it | Passionately curious