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Relative Tragedy

We live in strange times. Or perhaps all times are strange.

Giving something a name grants magical hypnotic power. “Coronavirus” or “Covid” are names that immediately occupy all attention and short circuit normal brain function.

I imagine newsrooms today:

Editor: “Any tragedies to report?”

Lackey: “A few sir”

Editor: “Shoot”

Lackey: “An airplane suddenly veered off course and crashed into a mountain killing all 200 people aboard”

Editor: “And…”

Lackey: “None of them tested positive for the Coronavirus”

Editor: “Meh. Not a tragedy. Run of the mill. Anything else?”

Lackey: “An elderly disabled war hero was driving home from saving his daughter’s kitten when he got stuck on the train tracks and suffered a horrible collision”

Editor: “And…”

Lackey: “His car burst into flames and he died a very terrible death as onlookers couldn’t reach him in time despite heroic efforts”

Editor: “And…”

Lackey: “He tossed a hand scrawled will out the window just before he perished, revealing a secret fortune he donated to the poor”

Editor: “And…”

Lackey: “We can’t be sure because we can’t verify he was tested, and the tests are ridiculously inaccurate, and he had no symptoms, but he may have had Coronavirus”

Editor: “MY GOD THE HUMANITY!!! Why didn’t you tell me we had a lead story!”