If a picture speaks a thousand words, what do numbers say?
More than 100,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19 since the coronavirus hit our shores, and the count steadily grows.
Already, the death toll surpasses the number of Americans killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.
Each victim represents a single life. But the sum fails to measure the toll that extends beyond one person. Each of those individuals connected to someone — as a parent, child, neighbor, co-worker, loved one.
The log of our great catastrophes takes in disasters both natural and man-made. We stack them up, place them side by side, but there is no comparing. Each is unique and uniquely tragic.
Numbers lend perspective. They allow for rankings. But they can’t measure the true extent of loss.
Pictures are insufficient. Words fail.
— Mark Z. Barabak
Pearl Harbor, more than 2,400 dead
Dec. 7, 1941
Terrorist attacks on 9/11, nearly 3,000 dead
Sept. 11, 2001
Korean War, nearly 37,000 dead
Vietnam War, more than 58,000 dead
COVID-19, more than 100,000 dead
February 2020 - ___________
World War I, more than 116,000 dead
World War II, more than 400,000 dead
Spanish flu epidemic, 675,000 dead