I was in the middle of writing a funny note to a friend when I heard the news that the U.S. had passed the 100,000 mark in number of deaths due to coronavirus. I couldn’t finish the note. Since we have all known that this threshold was near, I was somewhat surprised at the impact that crossing that threshold had on me. It was a gut punch. There is no laughter in me right now.
One hundred thousand people. Many of those people died without the comfort of family members holding their hands. One hundred thousand families in grief. To put that number in perspective, the population of DeKalb County is around 71,000. Perhaps a better visual image is that the capacity of Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa is just over 101,000.
I think that number deserves an acknowledgment. I think those families deserve our empathy. It breaks my heart that I’m not seeing the president of the United States address this wound to America’s soul. On a day when we experienced a landmark of loss, I see the same petty name calling, ridiculous conspiracy theories and self-absorbed whining. I see no concern for another single human being, not even enough concern to wear a face mask to protect the people around him. I see an insecure man begging for praise for his handling of this crisis.
Mister president, one hundred thousand dead is not a great success.
Tobey Miller, Fort Payne, Alabama
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