Covid-19 Death Toll

Rick Kirchoff, CcNet

A few days ago, one of our CcNet Facebook friends sent us a message.  She wrote: 

“I am writing this out of curiosity, and hope I don’t come across too controversial. I ‘liked’ your Facebook page a while back because of a friend who was sharing your posts. I enjoy the majority of your posts, but my question is, what is your heart and motive behind the Covid-19 death toll posts? I believe the virus is real, but…the virus posts, for me at least, do the opposite of the first part of your 3-part mission. ‘To Challenge, Equip and Inspire.’ I am not trying to start an argument. I just would like to hear the heart behind the posts. Thank you for your time! Your Facebook Friend, Janet.”  (We have changed the name to protect her anonymity.)

What follows is based on our response. We thought you might find it informative.      

Janet, thanks for asking! And thank you for referencing our mission statement. Several things come to mind with those 3 words: CHALLENGE, EQUIP AND INSPIRE.   

1st, to CHALLENGE. As of this writing, the COVID-19 death toll in the USA is nearing 204,000 (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center).  Let that sink in!  204,000 persons have breathed their last and lost their lives to this disease. Worldwide deaths from this virus are approaching one million.  

These are not just statistics. Each one was someone’s beloved child, sibling, parent, grandparent or friend.  The dead include children, teenagers, doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, teachers, athletes and, of course, many frail elderly and those whose health was already compromised. Each one a person of sacred worth!  Each one has a name and a story. Their lives were cut short by this deadly disease. We never want to forget that.  

In a time when COVID numbers are politicized and even debated, we must not forget that this disease is real and deadly.  

We share the numbers because we are not willing to let ourselves be numbed to the immensity of the number of the deaths.  We want to join with those that knew and loved them, from faith communities across this nation and across the world, in a time of mourning, a time of lament. We mourn for these individuals and for their loved ones. And our hearts are broken by the scale of grief and loss that has disproportionately harmed people of color, the elderly and medically vulnerable.

So, Janet, the CHALLENGE is to remember that the pandemic is real, that it is deadly, and we have lost and continue to lose so many precious souls to this disease.  

2nd, to EQUIP. It is easy to grow weary with the social distancing protocols. And over time, we all can all grow careless! Sharing the death numbers is meant to help us remember the importance of continuing the hard work of staying vigilant and helping stop the spread. Social distancing protocols work!  Wearing a mask matters! They matter because your life is precious, and the lives of others are as well.  It’s about loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. 

That’s the EQUIP part of why we post the numbers. And , by the way, we continually offer posts that are specifically chosen to help individuals make wise choices and to equip congregational leaders to exercise safe actions whenever people gather.  

3rd, to INSPIRE. It may seem a stretch to you to think that seeing a death count can “inspire,” but we/I see something of inspiration in our choice to post these numbers.  

Janet, I am a 75-year-old retired clergyman. The numbers remind me of my vulnerability and mortality, our shared mortality.  When I see the growing numbers and realize how quickly I, or somone I know and love, could be in that number, I am reminded to never take any day for granted. If seeing these numbers can inspire us to live more deeply and fully, realizing that we are all at risk, then the death numbers “inspire.”

Janet, I hope these quick thoughts are helpful.

I know that death toll numbers can be depressing and even off-putting, but we’ve decided it is worth the risk. So, several times each week, we will keep you updated on the numbers. And when you see them, I hope you will think of “the challenge, the equipping and the inspiration.

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 Death Toll”

  1. The good news is that our scientists & doctors have developed new medicines to attack this terrible virus. The latest stats, August 25, 2020 from the CDC are for those under 70, the cure rate is 99%. For those over 70 the cure rate is 94%. The CDC still recommends caution so we must all continue to follow the guidelines. This is wonderful news though & we can be thankful for those working so hard to develop a vaccine. It has been a struggle to watch those with loved ones who have succumbed to COVID 19, many unnecessarily & without family support. We must continue to pray for those presently affected & to our Lord Jesus Christ to help those searching to find a cure for this awful disease.

    Like

  2. Thank you for these wise thoughts, that it is a practical way of loving our neighbours, and of the sad consequences of not doing so.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: