Opinion

Stats with faces: How to view tragedies

The Philippines has been rocked by what experts are calling the most powerful storm ever recorded.

While the estimate of the total number of those killed now appears to be 2,500 instead of 10,000, the loss is still devastating. Approximately 650,000 people have been displaced and at least 10 million people total have been directly impacted by the storm.

Far too often when we see tragedies like this take place, those of us removed from the event itself attempt to create mental graphs in order to make comparisons with the total population of a city we know well.

We the Threefold want to challenge our readers, and ourselves, to not only read the numbers listed above, but to mentally put faces and lives to these numbers. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand how many are affected by a disaster. But we should not focus on the total; we should focus on the individuals.

At least 2, 500 people are currently being mourned for by their loved ones—individuals who may have lost more than one family member or friend in the tragedy. Around 650,000 people do not have a safe, warm place to sleep and call their home. For 10 million people, life will never be the same. No matter what happens from here, they will always remember when Typhoon Haiyan uprooted their lives.

We the Threefold ask that you consider this while praying for those affected by this powerful storm and remember in the future that no person, no matter what the circumstance, was created to be a statistic.