When numbers get higher and higher, they become more and more meaningless and incomprehensible. The numbers lose value, and the shock element that might have been present at the start begins to fade away.
The difference between 2 million and 1 million seems oddly small. Or maybe that’s just me? It’s hard for my brain to differentiate between 1 million and 2 million so I just consider both to be large numbers. However, in this case, it’s 2 million people that have lost their lives, an increase of 1 million in only 3 months.
On the 1st of October 2019, I wrote an article titled “1 Million” (https://thelevinelowdown.com/2020/10/01/1-million/). The number of COVID-19 deaths had just passed 1 million in only 9 months. In only another 3 months, that number has now doubled to 2 million. It’s impossible to wrap our heads around, but we must try because the number of people suffering from this virus is devastating.
I don’t want this to become another COVID-19 news update article. We have read those for the last 11 months, and everybody is tired of hearing about the pandemic and the constant promises of a vaccine without any immediate action. People want a fast solution, and I’m not surprised. This virus has tested every person either physically, mentally or emotionally, and I hope that we can begin to see vaccinations rolled out around the world, and people regaining control of their lives.
So, instead of providing you with statistics and mainstream media information, I want to revisit the three emotions I talked about in October.
My first emotion was confusion. I couldn’t understand how we got to where we were. Still, this hasn’t changed. As towns and cities worldwide began to re-open and allow economies to start moving again, secondary waves of the virus attacked just when people were beginning to re-build their hope of normality. In Australia, the dream of COVID-19 free Christmas was halted by an outbreak in Sydney, closing borders once again, and sending thousands of people back into lockdown. In the UK and South Africa, a more contagious strain of the virus ravaged communities as both nations were forced back into lockdown.
Secondly, I spoke about my sadness and devastation. 3 months later, these emotions remain firm in my mind and heart. I feel guilty of getting angry at my own countries restrictions and failing to appreciate how lucky I have been within this pandemic compared to millions of other people. Strangely, it can almost be difficult to be upset or heartbroken for victims of this virus. The numbers we hear each day of confirmed cases and deaths are too large to imagine that it leaves us numb. One death always seems to impact people more than many deaths. However, although many deaths occur each day, they are still all made up the loss of a person’s life, and the traumatic impact of this loss on family and friends.
Lastly, I spoke of hope. I believe that hope is essential, and I am still hopeful today. I am hopeful as we are at the closing stages of vaccine preparation, and it will be only a couple of months before vaccines are administered around Australia. I am hopeful as people have united together when things haven’t gone as planned. When the government told us in Sydney to wear a mask when we went outside, people wore a mask. It was an incredible sight of unity, and although people were tired and worn out, they continued to do things that made them uncomfortable, to ensure the virus stopped spreading.
COVID-19 defined 2020, but it doesn’t have to define 2021. There is hope in the arrival of vaccines, and although that process may have bumps along the way, if we find ways to stick together and support each other, we can all reap the rewards of a pre-COVID lifestyle. Stay safe, listen to your government’s guidelines regarding social distancing and mask use, and remember that there is still and will always be hope.