Past few weeks, I have made me wonder if all those politicians and talking heads who profess and talk about upholding American values, value one thing that every human should value — life. Nothing brought home the fact that we are seeing the daily deaths due to the COVID-19 continue, thereby pushing the cumulative totals across the country to a scary level. As of today, 111,750 people have died in the US, out of a total of 408,964 globally, more than any other country. And yet no one seems to really care or mourn their loss.
I first saw it on Twitter. “Someone poke holes in this scenario,” a tweet from Eric Nelson, the editorial director of Broadside Books, read. “We keep losing 1,000 to 2,000 a day to coronavirus. People get used to it. We get less vigilant as it very slowly spreads. By December we’re close to normal, but still losing 1,500 a day, and as we tick past 300,000 dead, most people aren’t concerned.”
This hit me like a ton of bricks because of just how plausible it seemed. The day I read Mr. Nelson’s tweet, 1,723 Americans were reported to have died from the virus. And yet their collective passing was hardly mourned. After all, how to distinguish those souls from the 2,097 who perished the day before or the 1,558 who died the day after?Charlie Warzel, The New York Times
Each death is not just a number. It is not just data. Every person leaves behind a hole in our universe. And yet, the collective ambivalence of our leaders – political, business, and religious – is jarring. Next time, someone talks about American values, let us remind them by pointing out that we should start by valuing life.
June 9, 2020, San Francisco