As of this morning, 94,807 people worldwide have died of coronavirus. Our Australian figure is 53 people. These are sobering numbers, which we have become accustomed to hearing over the past few weeks. Why do these numbers matter to us? Because each number is a person whose story has ended, each a person loved by another, each a child of God.
There is another reason why these numbers have come to feature so prominently in our daily lives: suddenly we can see the real possibility of ourselves – or someone close to us – included among that number. The reality of death has not changed in this time of contagion, but our awareness of its presence – and the price it extracts – has changed.