The U.S. is poised to reach a somber point early next week, as the coronavirus pandemic death toll passed 97,000 Saturday. On Sunday, Americans will see the names of those lost on the front page of the New York Times, under the unthinkable headline, "U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss." The Times revealed the front page late Saturday, sending shockwaves on Twitter.
The front page features six columns of names from all over the country, accompanied by their ages and a brief comment about their lives. According to the Times, Graphics desk assistant editor Simone Landon found the obituaries to be the best way to convey the loss Americans have suffered due to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, as the death toll reached 100,000. Landon realized that dots or stick figure graphics would not work the same as a name.
Researcher Alain Delaquérière then went through obituaries and death notices that included COVID-19 as a cause of death. Several Times editors and graduate student journalists went through each obituary to find a phrase to convey what made each person unique. Landon called the final result a "rich tapestry" and gave credit to her colleagues for their help. The list continues inside the paper, alongside an essay by Times reporter and columnist Dan Barry. "I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we're living through," Marc Lacey, Times National editor, said.
The front page of The New York Times for May 24, 2020 pic.twitter.com/Mp4figjnQe— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 23, 2020
On Saturday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has reached 1.6 million in the U.S., by far more than any other country, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll is at 97,076, and just over 13.7 million Americans have been tested. Earlier this week, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington revised its death toll projection for the U.S. and now estimates 143,360 people will die by Aug. 4, reports CNN.
As Trump golfs.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 23, 2020
Multiple Twitter users noted that President Donald Trump spent part of his Saturday golfing. It was the first time he visited Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia in two months. The president did not wear a face mask and was seen with several other people around him.
Irreplaceable souls.— BLR (@beachnut826) May 23, 2020
Thank you @nytimes for all the work you've done to recognize and memorialize our fellow Americans who we've lost. A reminder that each person who died lost an average of 11 years https://t.co/992kkezEvs https://t.co/A3RzNkbUvD— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) May 24, 2020
That NYT front page names only 1% of the Americans who have died from Covid-19. I found that a bit difficult to grasp, so I copy/pasted it 100 times to get a sense of scale. The first image below is what it would look like if you could see all 100,000 names. pic.twitter.com/XteZFkT1Ze— Aubrey Hirsch (@aubreyhirsch) May 24, 2020
I think more papers/media should do this to be honest. We’ve become numb to numbers and graphs.— Donal Flynn (@DonalFlynn1) May 23, 2020