Someone once said that “numbers cannot tell stories.” But I beg to differ. Sometimes the number is the story. Other times a number gives accent to the story. On occasion, a number can even paint a picture.
In my various readings about the coronavirus over the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting some numbers that tell some stories and paint a few pictures.
1: The number of passengers on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Saint Louis last week. Passenger Bob Pitts said he felt like a VIP when he was greeted with “Hi, Bob” by the pilot when he boarded the plane.
10: The number of large bouquets a mystery man bought from a Needham, Massachusetts florist just minutes before the owner was closing the shop due to the announced mandatory shut-down. The floral bouquets were delivered anonymously to ten Needham residents.
15: The maximum number of years a Thai citizen can be imprisoned for criticizing the country’s king.
20: The number of concubines with which Thailand’s 67-year old King Maha Vajiralongkorn has quarantined himself at an exclusive Bavarian resort in Germany.
27: The number of healthcare workers in the U.S. who have died from Covid-19. Over 9,300 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus.
41: The number of grocery workers in the U.S. who have died from Covid-19. Over 1,500 have tested positive for the virus.
104: In Oregon, World War II veteran William Lapschie celebrated his 104th birthday this week, after recently making a recovery from the coronavirus.
400: The number of fully catered meals that Adam & Fiona Gordon donated to the workers of two hospitals when their wedding reception had to be cancelled earlier this month.
500: The number of artists that fellow artist Tom Croft has enlisted to paint free oil portraits of health workers on the frontlines of the pandemic in England. When the pandemic is over, he hopes to hold an exhibition of the powerful portraits.
600: The number of crew members aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt battleship who have tested positive for Covid-19.
732: The number of U.S. healthcare workers hospitalized with Covid-19.
1,900: The number of New York City’s Metro Transit Authority subway workers who have tested positive for Covid-19. 50 have died.
1,950: The number of inmates at Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution who have tested positive for Covid-19. That is over 75% of the prison’s total inmate population. 154 guards and staff members have also been infected.
7,000: The number of Covid-19 related deaths that have occurred in eldercare facilities in the U.S.
30,000: The number of confirmed Covid-19 related deaths in the U.S. as of April 25th.
58,220: The number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975.
200,000: The number of Covid-19 related deaths worldwide as of April 25th.
675,000: The number of Americans killed by 1918’s Spanish flu pandemic.
1 million: The amount in dollars that Dolly Parton is donating to Vanderbilt Medical Center. In an Instagram post last week, Dolly wrote, “My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
5 million: The amount in dollars that 99-year-old British World War II veteran, Tom Moore, has raised for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 10 laps a day around his garden with the aid of a walker. Moore had hoped to raise $1,000, but a social media campaign launched by his grandson went viral. Moore’s goal is to do 100 laps (1.6 miles) by his 100th birthday on April 30th.
8.2 million: The amount that Charles Calvin, a volunteer firefighter from Indiana, discovered in his checking account when he inspected his bank account to see if the $1,200 stimulus check had been deposited. The bank quickly corrected the error. Said Cavin, “It kind of sucks. You go from being a millionaire one second, then back to broke again.”
50 million: The number of deaths worldwide attributed to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
141 million: The amount in dollars of the insurance payout to the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, hosts of the now-cancelled Wimbledon tennis tournament. The tennis club has paid $2 million annually in pandemic insurance over the past 17 years.
1.4 billion: The amount in dollars that Americans spent on toilet paper in March of this year—an increase of 112 percent over March of 2019.
13 billion: The dollar amount that the U.S. Postal Service says it will lose this year as a direct result of Covid-19.
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin, TN, and the author of several books. He has been a weekly newspaper columnist in the Nashville area for over a decade.