Editors’ note: This story has been updated to more clearly attribute phrasing from work previously published in CNBC and Vice. I ruined the mood in a family group chat last week. Someone shared a meme that read, "This #Coronavirus is turning me into a democrat. I'm staying at home, not working, complaining about everything, and waiting for a check from the government." Another family member used the yearly death rate of the flu to dismiss concerns over the coronavirus. Then someone else argued that millions of people die around the world every year in car accidents. "Will cars be banned," they snarkily asked. I tried not to react emotionally, but it's hard to keep your cool after weeks of trying to convince older relatives every day to stay inside and socially distance. "We're currently at half as many American coronavirus deaths as the number of people who died on 9/11," I replied, using the only statistic I've found that communicates the kind of world-changing loss that this pandemic will cause. "If Dr. Fauci's projections are correct, it will be the equivalent of 30–60 9/11s." The chat went quiet for a while after that. The numbers I was referring to have… Read full this story
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