We as a nation are demeaning deaths from coronavirus

Posted: Sep. 24, 2020 3:40 pm

To The Herald-Whig:

William Gladstone argued that the way a nation cares for its dead measures the sympathies of its people, their respect for the law and their loyalty to high ideals. Two recent events are a cause of concern for our nation.

First, the National Cathedral recently marked the 200,000 lives lost to COVID-19 by tolling the Bourdon Bell 200 times, once for every 1,000 lives lost. When touring cemeteries in English churchyards, tourists are encouraged to observe the symbols on the gravestones. Many stones have a skull indicating death from the Black Death. Sadly, there are no lasting memorial symbols for those lost to COVID-19. We as a nation are demeaning these deaths.

Second, even before Ruth Bader Ginsburg's (RBG) funeral arrangements were finalized, a bitter partisan battle erupted over her replacement. RBG believed that the law of our land was gender-blind and all groups were entitled to equal rights. While RBG was a fierce advocate for equality, her legacy transcends the law. Sadly, during the national mourning for RBG, a toxic potion of inflamed mutual animosity flourishes between opposing parties.

If we cannot come together as a nation to pause, to respect these deaths, ours is truly a nation gone astray.

John C. Schafer

Hannibal, MO