Ramon Presson

Someone once said that “numbers cannot tell stories.” But I beg to differ. Sometimes the number is the story.  Other times a number gives accent to the story.  On occasion a number can even paint a picture. 

In recent weeks I’ve continued to collect some numbers that tell some stories and paint a few pictures. 

6: the age of a British Columbia boy, Callaghan McLaughlin, who set up a booth at the end of his driveway to entertain passersby with free jokes. “Even if the jokes are groaners, people are happy to be entertained by a giggling 6-year-old during these stressful days,” said Callaghan's mom. 

After a local television station showed up to interview little McLaughlin at work at his booth, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation took notice, and soon the young comic was a viral internet sensation.

19: the number of marathons in 19 days that 35-year-old Christian Varley ran in raising $102,000 (exceeding his goal of $25,000) for coronavirus relief.

24: the number of Covid-related deaths on the Isle of Man—the tiny island of 83,000 residents that sits between England and Northern Ireland where Christian Varley lives.

65: the percent of workers in U.S. agriculture that are undocumented. The undocumented farm-workers are being deemed “essential workers” during the pandemic by the Department of Homeland Security, saying in a letter to law enforcement officials that the workers are “critical to the food supply chain.”

164.25: the amount in dollars of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star, Andre Drummond’s bill for a family brunch at Che Restaurant in Delray Beach, Florida.

220: the number of free personalized cakes that bakery owner, Bill Hanisch, made for the graduating seniors of his alma mater, Red Wing High School in Red Wing, Minnesota. When Hanisch learned that Red Wing’s graduation ceremonies would be cancelled this year, he came up with a plan to sweeten the day for the disappointed graduates.

1,000: the amount in dollars of the tip that Drummond left for waitress, Kassandra Diaz, who is struggling to make ends meet amid restaurant shutdowns. 

1,500: the number of children in homeless shelters and foster homes in 12 states to whom 10-year-old Chelsea Phaire of Danbury Connecticut has mailed art kits during the pandemic. Last year she launched Chelsea's Charity on her birthday in August when she asked party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts.

3,000: roughly the number of miles that 72-year-old Brit, Graham Walters, logged by rowing solo across the Atlantic from Spain to Antigua. When Walters launched from Gran Canaria on January 25th he had not heard of the coronavirus.  

He has been trying to comprehend how much the world changed in the 96 days he was out of touch with it. “It’s like I have been in a bubble and have now woken up in an alternative universe,” Walters said.

57,000: the amount in dollars that Boston sportswriter, Chris Costillo, has raised for non-profit organizations during the pandemic by selling over 350 autographed baseball cards from his collection.

100,000: the number of Covid-19 related deaths in the U.S.  The dark milestone was reached on May 28th.  The United Kingdom has the next highest mortality rate at 38, 489.

369,126: the number of Covid-related deaths worldwide as of May 31st.

477,282: the number of Tennesseans who have filed for unemployment since the week ending March 14th.

2.1 million: the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S as of May 29th according to the CDC.

6.1 million: the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide as of May 31st.

16.8 million: the total number of Covid-19 tests conducted in the U.S. as of May 29th according to the CDC.  Percentage of positive tests is 12%.

40 million: the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment during the pandemic as of May 28th.

1.2 billion: the number of popsicles that will be enjoyed by children this summer despite the pandemic.

800 billion: the minimal total number of the 2,000 species of fireflies that will still be lighting up the evening skies this summer despite the pandemic.

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at [email protected]

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