The numbers don't lie. More than 30 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spokane County, more than 2,000 statewide in Washington and more than 100 deaths. But the numbers don't tell the full truth either. Numbers are clean. They have the appeal of being distant and antiseptic. But they can't tell stories, only tally them.
The death toll can't communicate the grief and the anxiety. The unemployment figures won't show the anguish of a chef who poured his life savings into his new restaurant only for COVID-19 to starve him out of business. Those graphs on the epidemiological curve won't tell the story of nurses who might have to tell sobbing family membrers that there aren't enough ventilators available to save their dad.
That's up to us. To communicate just how destructive the coronavirus has already been on Spokane means showing the lives of the people who've been shaken by it: the produce company president that has to scramble to reinvent his business; the unemployed mom who now has to homeschool her autistic child; the laid-off bartender who's unable to visit his mother in a quarantined nursing home. These are are our neighbors. These are readers. These are the people we're all trying to save. (DANIEL WALTERS)