Why Americans are numb to the staggering coronavirus death toll
By William Wan and Brittany Shammas
When Todd Klindt buried his dad, he was stunned. Some of the mourners arrived not wearing masks — for the funeral of a man who died of the coronavirus.
Just days earlier, Klindt had held his father’s hand in a hospital intensive care unit. Now, watching people at the funeral — acting as if the world was not on fire, as if people were not dying by the dozen every hour of every day — he wanted to shout, “He’s right here!”
“I’m like, ‘Are you paying attention at all? Is any of this sinking in?’ ” said Klindt, who lives in Ames, Iowa.
Death is now everywhere and yet nowhere in America. We track its progress in daily bar graphs. We note its latest victims among celebrities and acquaintances. Yet in many parts of America, we carry on — debating holiday plans, the necessity of mask mandates, how seriously to take the virus, whether it’s all a hoax.