The New York Times is paying tribute to the lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunday’s front page headline reads, “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS.”
The paper dedicates the front page and three inside pages to the names of nearly one-thousand victims.
“We knew that there should be some way to try to reckon with that number,” Simone Landon, an assistant editor of the Times’ Graphics desk, says in a behind the scenes feature.
He adds that the project is also a response of sorts to “a little bit of a fatigue.”
Indeed, The Times gathered names and stories of coronavirus victims not just from the Empire State, but from from newspapers across the country. “The 1,000 people here reflect just 1% of the toll,” the paper’s description of the list says. “None were mere numbers.”
Some of the listings read:
Angeline Michalopulos, 92, “was never afraid to sing or dance.”
Lila Fenwick, 87, was “the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Law.”
Romi Cohn, 91, “saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo.”
April Dunn, 33, was an “advocate for disability rights.”
Patricia H. Thatcher, 79, “sang in her church choir for 42 years.”
Fred Gray, 75, “liked his bacon and hash browns crispy.”
Harley E. Acker, 79, “discovered his true calling when he started driving a school bus.”
Frank Gabrin, 60, was an “emergency room doctor who died in his husband’s arms.”
The front page of The New York Times for May 24, 2020 pic.twitter.com/d14JhFp4CP
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2020
Skylar Herbert, 5, was “Michigan’s youngest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Philip Kahn, 100, “World War II veteran whose twin died in the Spanish Flu epidemic a century ago.”
William D. Greeke, 55, “thought it was important to know a person’s life story.”
In addition, Dan Barry, who is a veteran writer for The Times, has an essay inside Sunday’s paper about “The Human Toll” of the pandemic to date.
“Imagine,” he writes, “a city of 100,000 residents that was here for New Year’s Day but has now been wiped from the American map.”
Meanwhile, New York state on Saturday reported its lowest number of daily COVID-19 deaths — 84 — in several weeks, in what Gov. Andrew Cuomo describes as a critical benchmark. The state’s daily death tally peaked at 799 back on April 8.
The Mid-Hudson Region is on track to begin Phase 1 reopening on Tuesday.
I urge New Yorkers to continue to take precautions & do your part by wearing a mask in public, washing your hands often, and avoiding large gatherings. #NewYorkTough
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 23, 2020
“In my head, I was always looking to get under 100,” Cuomo adds. “For me, it’s a sign that we’re making real progress.”
The number of hospitalized patients also continues to fall, dropping to over 4,600.
Cuomo announced that the Mid-Hudson region, which is the area along the Hudson River north of New York City and south of Albany, is set to begin reopening on Tuesday, while Long Island could follow on Wednesday.
He also signed an order late Friday which allows people to assemble in groups of as many as 10, as long as they stay at least six feet apart and wear masks when they are unable to maintain that distance.
While beaches elsewhere in that region will be open for swimming, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said swimming is not allowed at the city’s beaches, and may not be for the entire summer.
“I’ve been really clear about the beaches; they are closed for swimming,” de Blasio said Friday at his daily coronavirus briefing. “There will not be lifeguards. People are not supposed to go to the beach to swim.”
The main reason for the swimming ban is to curb the spread of the virus by keeping people off public transportation.
Under guidelines that are intended to keep crowds from flocking to the beaches, people who live nearby may still go there to walk or to sit, de Blasio explained.
“I’m very hopeful that this weekend at our beaches, you’re going to see people following the rules because they know it’s the right thing to do,” he added. “But if they need some reminders, of course there’ll be people out there educating, giving out face coverings.”
While most of New York state has begun to ease its restrictions, de Blasio and Cuomo have said that New York City, which is the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the United States, remains weeks away from beginning to reopen.