Kickass, the doorstop dog, is not impressed by the way in which the keeper’s tribe seems to moderate the impact of death by attaching numbers to it. The practice puts a brutally offensive box-score on war: the keeper says, and now as the coronavirus death toll approaches 100,000, the deep individual pain of millions of mourners is somehow replaced by a numerical mob-mentality that approaches cheering, at least in some quarters.
Beyond the awful numbers, the personal hurt and haunting of a loved one’s death linger forever, even seemingly growing with the passage of time and in the face of the application of statistics.
The keeper’s daughter Pat’s death—not coronavirus related, but a stat in that she died too young, seems as hard to accept now—months later, as it did the day it happened. And several days ago, when the keeper went to a favorite fishing spot, he was haunted by the fact that the last time he was there it had been with Dan, a beloved and highly respected friend. Dan died not long ago–also not coronavirus related, but a statistic of heart issues.
The coronavirus score obviously must be kept, like the KIAs of war, but those left behind to grieve go far beyond the numbers with their broken hearts and precious memories.
100,000 and counting!