"How do we wrap our minds around the fact that more than half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone?
The nation just passed that milestone: 500,000 lives lost, in one year.
For the families of those who died of COVID-19, each successive milestone of this pandemic may seem irrelevant to their particular, punishing loss.
[. . . ]
"The larger the numbers are," he says, "the harder it is to feel the empathy anymore. And I don't know how we make that empathy personal again. ... Our brains are not good with big numbers."
"It just won't stop growing"
The sheer weight of those numbers can tend to dwarf the individual stories behind each person who died. What does it mean when you're just one of half a million?