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Coronavirus (15): What's in a Number?

And so, today, the statistics show that the United States has nearly 580,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with 23,000+ deaths (and 33,754 fully recovered).

For this native New Yorker, the numbers are staggering. This state has almost 200,000 confirmed cases, and has hit a horrific one-month total (since the first confirmed NY-state deaths on March 14th) in the number of Coronavirus-related deaths: 10,056.

The nightmare of September 11th brought death and destruction that will forever stay with us, as 2,977 people were wiped out in a single day (not counting all those people who have died from 9/11-related illnesses in the wake of that terrorist attack).

But this is a number unto itself: 10,056.

It's the kind of statistic that puts the numb in number.

For in the end, we are talking about 10,056 individuals in New York state alone. And more than 23,000 across the United States. Each person is somebody's grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, spouse, partner, friend, neighbor. I knew several individuals who have died of the virus, who were seemingly healthy just one month ago---and they are now gone. I know too many individuals who are infected and self-quarantining, and others who are now in hospitals, on ventilators.

Please pause and remember this sobering reality. However much we are encouraged by the "plateauing" of this pandemic, the increasing numbers remain overwhelming to the families and extended families and friends of every single person who has been infected with this virus or who has lost their life.

My thoughts are with each and every one of them.