Dennis Lyons

There’s no question. The numbers are overwhelming.

Each day, our reports detailing the totals of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, along with how many deaths, hospitalizations, people in ICUs and people who are on ventilators become more difficult to grasp and deal with.

We know that. Trust me. We can’t wait for the day that this report is gone from all of our lives.

We also know that there are some who inexplicably ignore or choose not to believe those numbers and go about their lives in a pre-pandemic mode.

Some have complained we focus too much attention on this virus and its impact, even as their refusal to wear masks and keep away from crowds of people fuel those numbers. 

The surge of this virus is real and important and we will continue to report it.

The real impact behind those numbers, though, can only be fully known by people who have been hit directly by it — by getting sick with it themselves, seeing a loved one or friend struggle with it or working to help treat and prevent it.

And so, at the suggestion of some Valley people who have reached out after losing family members to this disease, we have decided to try to tell more stories about the men and women those numbers represent.

It is our hope that the opportunity to read about our neighbors who have struggled or died from COVID-19 will make it easier to understand the too often tragic reality of it.

It also may help bring some solace to the people who have lost loved ones and friends.

To do this, we are going to need some help.

If you have lost a family member to the virus and would be willing to share their story with our readers across the Valley, please email me at dlyons@dailyitem.com.

In addition, if you or someone you know has battled and recovered from a serious attack of this virus, we’d be interested in you telling their story as well.

And, if you have been helped in this fight by a doctor, a nurse or someone else on the front lines who you feel should get some recognition for all they do, again, we’d love to hear about them.

In each of these stories, we hope to focus not just on their singular fight with this virus, but on the people fighting it.

We want to tell the stories of the grandparents who make such a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.

Of the husbands and wives who have been forced to face this unexpected obstacle together while being physically apart.

Of the women and men in nursing and assisted-care facilities suddenly forced to be separated from their families for extended periods,

Of the medical professionals and other front line workers who put their own lives at risk each day to care for the increasing number of virus victims.

We hope you will reach out and give us and our readers the chance to get to know them. 

I think we’ll all be better for hearing their stories.

Email comments to dlyons@dailyitem.com.

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