Back in early July, CNN's Miguel Marquez was allowed inside an overwhelmed San Antonio hospital to bring the public harrowing video of a reality that's been threatening to crush infrastructure and personnel for months. While presenting his piece, Marquez became understandably emotional and shed tears on air.
So it's doubly crushing to see him back in the same situation nearly a half-year later doing the same thing. Only this time it's much worse than it was over the summer and promises to get bleaker. Marquez debuted a new report last night and it's equal parts devastating and essential.
The worst public-health disaster in a century has played out mostly behind closed doors. So many have processed it like reading a history book, the story only being reported line by line with precious little visual representation. That and extremely flawed human nature has allowed an overwhelming — perhaps embarrassing — percentage of the discourse to be focused on anything but the very real suffering of those who succumb to the virus or fight it off.
Confronting the fact that tens of millions of people actively downplay the hell health care workers have been living with and will continue to exist in for months is enough to make a person physically ill. So many of them are lost to all reason and compassion. But if a Hail Mary attempt to get people to snap out of it exists, this is it. There is nothing fake or exaggerated. The suffering is real and continues no matter how many bury their heads into the sand.