For those too young to remember, this is what the Twin Towers looked like before we knew we were under attack by 19 radical extremist Islamists at the behest of Osama bin Laden, a name most of us had never heard. The world was transfixed as the towers collapsed, causing a cloud of debris which rained down on emergency personnel for days. Metal wreckage, chunks of building and scarred land in NYC, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon were eventually cleared to reveal we’d lost 2,977 souls. For days, I watched and listened to the stories of relatives of those still missing or dead, as well as the harrowing recounts of survivors.; I felt that sharing their burden of pain was the least I could do from 3,000 miles away.
We owe today’s survivors and relatives of those lost to COVID the same respect. We are losing nearly 2,000 people every day. It could reach 3,000. Every year on 9/11, all the names of those who perished are read aloud. Can you imagine if we did the same for current casualties, how long that would take? Again, emergency personnel are risking their lives and becoming overwhelmed. When the opportunity arises, whether through news or social media, I pause, give my attention, and think of the impacts on so many lives. I’ve shed countless tears alongside those suffering, because it’s the least I can do while isolating myself from the new enemy in this devastating war. We cannot dismiss the wave of pain that accompanies the spike in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
My heart goes out to everyone affected by this pandemic.