Consider the New York Times. It made a large splash when its front page was essentially a wall of text, listing the names of the COVID-19 deceased along with short obituaries. Some (most?) people thought it was a moving tribute.

Ever the cynic, I found it a distasteful, exploitative, politically motivated cash grab. Where is the tribute to the far greater number of people who die every year from heart disease or cancer? Or how about suicide or opioid overdoses? Or what about the flu, which kills thousands every year? Those deaths don’t fit any ideological agenda or political narrative at the moment, so they’re deemed unworthy of individual recognition.

Musical artist Jackie Kamel jumped aboard the bandwagon as well. In a Facebook post that went viral, she let the world know how grief-stricken she was. She’s so grief-stricken, in fact, that it appears she’s taken up smoking. (And those may not be regular cigarettes, if you catch my drift.)

Call me a cynic, but it looks to me as if she is using this national tragedy to promote her own brand.