As the death toll from Covid-19 nears 100,000 in U.S., the NYT filled its front page with the obituaries. The death notices present a picture of a great nation in disarray.
An “incalculable loss” says the headline. The list of deaths forms a disturbing image of the lives lost to Covid-19. “They were not simply names on a list. They were us”, notes the sub-heading reminding people of the despondent mood of the nation.
The entire list numbers 1,000 names – a fraction of the total loss of life in the US during the outbreak so far. The NYT reported, “Simone Landon, assistant editor of the Graphics desk, wanted to represent the number in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost.”
Yet listing the names of the deceased “doesn’t really tell you very much about who those people were, the lives they lived, what it means for us as a country”, said Ms. Landon.
Marc Lacey, National editor of NYT said,” I wanted something that people would look back in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through.”
Among the dead were people from all hues and ethnicity. Joe Diffie, 62, Nashville, Grammy-winning country music star, and Lila A. Fenwick, 87, New York City, first black woman to graduate from Harvard Law School featured in the death notices.