The Diversity of Death: COVID-19 Deaths Make New York Times Front Page


The Sunday, May 24, 2020 headline of the top-tier American newspaper, The New York Times, will be forever remembered for its bravery. It reads: “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS.” The headline precedes a comprehensive list of a thousand names of people that have become COVID-19 fatalities. In the list are the names of people drawn from across the country and shows a variety of profiles. From record-breaking Americans to soccer moms to family guys, whiz kids, or anyone who thought of seeing the next day with broad confidence.

Today, confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 in the United States is a staggering ninety-eight thousand and thirty-five (98,035) while the State of New York currently tops the list of states with three hundred and sixty thousand confirmed cases (360,000). Total deaths from COVID-19 in New York are twenty-three thousand two hundred and eighty-two (23,282), being the highest in the country.  The United States nears a record one-hundred thousand deaths (100,000), and the New York Times aptly describes this gory information as “An Incalculable Loss.”

The State of New York’s death rate has dropped for the first time since the bitter months of April. At that time, 1,000 deaths were recorded daily and proved to be a hard time for Governor Andrew Cuomo. On Saturday, May 23, 84 deaths were recorded, and it became the lowest number of deaths per day the state had witnessed since the outbreak. Still, tensions are heightened as great uncertainty hovers around.

With the availability of a vaccine highly doubtful, and as the national emergency outgrows days, weeks, and even months, the ability of the average individual to cope will be further tested. Recently, President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, ordered for the reopening of worship centers all over the U.S. He stated that in this time of global distress, the people needed to seek divine intervention. This action has caused heavy criticism from fellow Americans who feel a worship center is a prime location for transmitting the virus.

The reopening of workplaces, worship centers, and other “public spaces” may pose a huge threat to healthcare practitioners’ efforts at the frontline. Deaths from COVID-19 in New York City alone is sixteen thousand one hundred and forty-nine (16, 149). New deaths are reported by the hour and statistics updated. Opening up the Mid-Hudson area in New York city as news reports have highlighted will see to the explosion of the infection rate.

The New York Times, its bold move to include the names of those that have died from the virus, sought to reinvigorate a sense of empathy for families currently dealing with grief. It sought to establish the painful reality that the country cannot be allowed to move back to its usual hustle and bustle lifestyle. It could spell doom for the country’s healthcare system, which, at the moment, is overburdened with a scarcity of life-saving equipment like the ventilator.

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