|Apr 28, 2020|
Rising early, I read CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, scanning for meaningless statistics encapsulated in ever-widening circles on maps. Tests administered. Cases confirmed. Deaths. The lines and dots and digits promise that this fear can be reduced to numbers. There are no doctors wondering when they will sublimate from physician to patient. No nurses making quiet calls to waiting wives or husbands, to say that they will not be home this night. Or the next night. Or ever. There are no grandparents waving goodbye from windows, no children pressing hand-written signs against the glass. But numbers cannot contain these essential lives. They bleed through the charts and graphs. They stand firm in crosswalks. They bag my groceries, eyes looking out to mine above a hopeful mask as I escape with my ice cream. They bag the bodies stacked in refrigerated trucks. They count the dead, rendering them to a logarithmic scale.