Cut Short by The Washington Post

Every victim of covid-19 had their own joys and hopes for the future. Leslie Shapiro and I marked one million deaths in America from covid-19 by writing about one person who died each week of the pandemic: what they loved doing and what they wanted to do next. Each sentence is cut short, as their lives were. The length of each line shows how many other people died from covid-19 that week.

Every single person who died of covid-19 looked forward to something, no matter how small. No matter their circumstances. No matter what they did and didn't do. Cut Short is a direct response to the idea that the lives of older, high-risk, or institutionalized victims don't 'count.'

I picked the final 114 people in the piece to try and reflect all American victims of covid-19. It's not a perfect match, but the majority of people in the story are over 65. Many lived in institutional settings. Many had preexisting conditions, or were essential workers. I found the information in the story from obituaries posted on, memorials submitted to the Post and conversations with family members.

May their memories be a blessing. All of them.