I have always been amazed at milestones. Whether it is a record-breaking performance, or something hitting a specific threshold, I am in awe. I find something very exciting when things hit round numbers. It feels like a sense of accomplishment. And yes, I have been known to stop and take a picture of my odometer when it hits 25,000… 50,000…100,000 (that was a big one). There is just something about it that makes me feel good.
Last night, I stopped to think about another milestone…. one that was passed yesterday. However, this one stopped me in my tracks and I spent some time thinking about it.
Let that number sink in for a moment.
It is imperative to remember that this is not just a number. It represents the 500,071 people who have died during this pandemic here in the US as of yesterday. The figure reflects mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who are no longer here.
Our focus should not be on the bigger number, but rather on the individual number… one... that makes up this staggering number. Each person who has died from this terrible illness touched the lives of so many people and those people will continue to feel the loss that will remain for many years to come.
As the numbers have climbed, like many of you, I have often found myself becoming numb to the sheer number. During last night's memorial President Biden reminded us, “While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic… we must do so to honor the dead.”
Let’s keep this idea in mind and continue to do everything within our power to make sure that the number’s climb continues to slow as it has been doing for the past several weeks. This includes getting your first (or second) dose of the vaccine as soon as you can and continuing to follow the CDC guidelines.
By doing this, we can help end this horrible pandemic. This is not something that can be done by any one of us. It must be done together. This is what it means to be a part of a community. There is a power that comes from within a community when people work together towards a specific goal. However, the work becomes almost impossible if individual goals and desires get in the way. Please keep this in mind and remember that we are much stronger when we work together.