Saturday, May 23, 2020

Words Matter #pandemic

3 died. 300 died. 30,000 died.

For some psychological reason, people don't feel a connection to numbers. Hearing a number died doesn't break most people. 8,675,309 people could die and there would be a Forest Gump meme with him crying "Jenny, no! Not Jenny! Why?" That would be over eight million dead people and it would be met with a meme.

What if the news were required to have each name and a dozen words about the person, for each person that died that day?

"Virginia Mathew. A school teacher of twenty years, best known for her lemon bars."
"Timothy Smith. Purpleheart recipient, 1973. Manager of a sports equipment store. Adopted ten dogs."
"Robert Bigname. The inventor of the whisper toilet seat. Volunteered at two homeless shelters."
"Jane Miller. Children's book author. Crocheted blankets that won blue ribbons at seven fairs."
"Baby Girl Jones. Three hours old. Weighed six pounds, three ounces. Nineteen inches. Blue eyes."
"Alex Sturn. State spelling bee champion. Third place in the second-grade talent show."

What would happen if every day we read those words instead of "90 cases dead from Covid-19 in this state today"? What if you saw a name that almost matched yours? Someone who did your job? Someone who sounded like one of your loved ones?

Imagine those numbers attached to names.

It's not difficult for those of us who have lost loved ones to this to think this way.




  2. Timely. You saw the New York Times front page, right? Definitely brings it into perspective. So far so good here.

    Janet’s Smiles

    1. I posted this on Saturday. The NYT thing came out on Sunday. Freaky, right?

  3. Sad, but a lot of people don't get it unless it happens to them. Numbers don't matter much. Adding a name and information makes more of a connection.


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