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Letter: COVID’s individual tragedies

Published: 8/9/2020 12:01:37 AM

“A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” That quote, attributed to the beast, the monster, Josef Stalin, describes – even if it fails to explain – human indifference to widespread killing. As this letter is being written, over 156,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. Since most Concord Monitor readers do not know any of the victims, is there a way to turn that statistic into the tragedy it really is?

One hundred and fifty-six thousand people dead of the Trump virus. Instead of thinking about the number, Imagine a B-52 dropping one small atomic bomb and obliterating Dayton, Ohio, or Cedar Rapids, Iowa, killing every one of the inhabitants. Perhaps nerve gas escapes from a tank car and wipes out the entire population of Midland, Tex., or Ann Arbor, Mich., or Syracuse, N.Y., or Savannah, Ga.

If those are too abstract, too far away, this may help. Picture the entire population of Merrimack County dying in less than six months. They were your friends, your family, your customers, and softball teammates. Goodbye, everybody in Concord, Bow, Canterbury, New London, Pembroke, Warner, Epsom, Henniker. Goodbye, all. It was nice to know you.

That’s the price of Donald Trump’s inaction: 156,000 individual tragedies.




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