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We all care, differently: “That’s worth a couple of COVID cases”

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Jan 22, 2021 1:08 AM
Last updated
Dec 3, 2021 5:30 PM

Originally published @January 21, 2021

On the most beautiful day of the year, I played basketball with my good buddy Adam French down at my good old neighborhood court-playground hybrid.

At 4:00pm when we showed up, it was empty save for a few kids nearby. But by the time we were wrapping up, the whole park had bloomed to life with people. Seeing the kids, interacting with a few of the parents, it all filled me with a kind of life I have rarely felt since my days working in the big gym of the


As we walked home, Adam said something that would later echo deep through my subconscious:

“The community is coming together. That’s so important. That’s worth a couple of COVID cases.”

I laughed it off in the moment, but the depth of this idea caught up me. What is worth a COVID case? Not a death—a positive test result.

I don’t know your answers, but I certainly have mine. “COVID cases” is quite broad in this example; I could argue in many directions and none of them matter that much.

There are lots of answers to this question depending who you ask, and none of them are objective. Each and every answer is someone’s idealogical ranking of the Importance of Things in the world around them. Every answer reveals a tree of values, unique from all others on Earth.

If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that we all have varying answers to questions like this—and that the answers that matter most aren’t always the ones that seem most important.

We all care, differently.


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