Commentary: It would help to visualize just how big those numbers really are

By Dave Bonar

With all the media coverage, I’m sure you are familiar with the steps being taken, and the daily briefings by everyone from governors to the president and his task force about needs and responses.

We hear staggering numbers of masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields that have been sent to local medical facilities. We hear the continued pleas of medical professionals for more from the federal government. More from our manufacturers. More from our citizens, in terms of following instructions.

While all this is going on we see, online, the critical comments aimed at our leaders in Washington. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, respected doctors with expertise in immunology and statistical analysis, have indicated that deaths from this virus could total 200,000 to a million or more. That’s 200,000 “if we do things perfectly,” Dr. Birx told interviewers on television. 

I thought for a moment how large that number really is. Oh, it’s easy. Take the entire population of Wilmington, add nearly the entire city of Dover, and “poof,” they’re all gone.

For those of us old enough to remember – and I do – look at the Air Mobility Command Museum building at Dover Air Force Base. We used to house a fighter jet squadron there, but at the time there were several hangers just like it.

I remember, so well, walking into one of those hangers and seeing hundreds, upon hundreds of caskets, stacked two deep, with just enough room to maneuver a forklift between them; waiting so they could be sent on to their final resting place. Caskets holding bodies of 918 souls who died in a mass suicide/murder at the direction of a maniac in the name of religion.

Now, take that AMC Museum and multiply it by 20, or even 100 or more, and that is the possibility we face if we ignore the instructions to practice social distancing and sanitary precautions, or just think this is all a bad joke.

It isn’t, but unless each and every one of us pays heed, the joke could very well be on us. It’s no laughing matter.

Dave Bonar is a former Dover City Councilman and Delaware public advocate now living in Maine.