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The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the US has reached 1 million in less than 2 1/2 years – thereporteronline

CARLA K. JOHNSAN

The death toll in the U.S. from COVID-19 on Monday reached 1 million, once an unimaginable figure that only hints at the multitude of loved ones and friends mad with grief and disappointment.

The confirmed death toll is equivalent to the September 11 attack every day for 336 days. That’s roughly equal to the number of Americans killed in the Civil War and World War II combined. As if destroyed Boston and Pittsburgh.

“It’s hard to imagine a million people uprooted from this land,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, who heads a new pandemic center at Brown University’s School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island. “It’s still happening and we’re letting it happen.”

Some of those left behind say they cannot return to normal life. They reproduce the voicemails of their loved ones. Or watch old videos to see how they dance. When other people say they are done with the virus, they are silent out of anger or pain.

“Normal. I hate that word, “said 55-year-old Julie Wallace of Eliria, Ohio, who lost her husband to COVID-19 in 2020.” We will all never return to normal life. “

Three out of every four deaths were people aged 65 and older. More men died than women. Most of the deaths were generally white. But blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans were about twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts.

Most of the deaths took place in urban areas, but rural areas – where the opposition to masks and vaccinations tends to run high – sometimes paid a high price.

The death toll less than 2 and a half years after the outbreak is based on death certificates collected by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the actual number of lives lost by COVID-19, directly or indirectly, as a result of health care disruptions in the world’s richest country, is considered much higher.

The U.S. has the highest death toll from COVID-19 among any country, although health experts have long suspected that the actual death toll in places like India, Brazil and Russia is higher than official figures.

The milestone came more than three months after the U.S. reached 900,000 deaths. The pace slowed after a terrible winter surge caused by the amicron variant.

The U.S. averaged about 300 deaths from COVID-19 per day, compared to a peak of about 3,400 per day in January 2021. New cases are rising again, rising more than 60% in the last two weeks to an average of about 86,000 a day – still well below the historical high of 800,000 that was reached when the Omicron variant raged in the winter.

The biggest bell at the Washington National Cathedral in the nation’s capital rang 1,000 times a week ago, once in 1,000 deaths. President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered the flags lowered and called every life an “irreplaceable loss.”

“As a nation, we must not become numb to such sorrow,” he said in a statement. “To be healed, we must remember.”

More than half of the deaths occurred after the vaccines became available in December 2020. Two-thirds of Americans are fully vaccinated, and nearly half have received at least one booster dose. But demand for the vaccine has plummeted, and the injection campaign has suffered from misinformation, mistrust and political polarization.

According to the CDC, unvaccinated people have a 10-fold higher risk of death from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated.

“It hurts a lot,” Nuzzo said. Vaccines are safe and significantly reduce the likelihood of serious illness, she said. They “largely remove the possibility of death from the table.”

36-year-old Angelina Proya from New York lost her father because of COVID-19 in April 2020. She runs a support group for grieving families on Facebook and has seen her divided over vaccinations. She dragged people from the group for spreading misinformation.

“I don’t want to listen to conspiracy theories. I don’t want to hear about anti-science, ”said Proya, who wants her father vaccinated.

Sarah Atkins, 42, of Winwood, Pennsylvania, is directing her grief to fight for global vaccination and better access to health care to honor her father Andy Rothman-Zayd, who died of COVID-19 in December 2020.

“My father gave me marching orders to stop this and make sure it didn’t happen again,” Atkins said of the pandemic. “He told me, ‘Politicize my death if I die from it.’

Julie Wallace and her husband Lewis Dunlap had cell phone numbers one digit apart. She keeps paying to keep his room. She calls it to hear his voice.

“It’s just so important to hear it sometimes,” she said. “It gives you a little reassurance and also tears your heart out.”

Some offered consolation in poetry. In Philadelphia, poet and social worker Trapez Mason has set up a 24-hour poetry hotline called Healing Poem. Traffic to the poets.org website of the Academy of American Poets increased during the pandemic.

Brian Sonia-Wallace, a poet-laureate of West Hollywood, California, traveled the country, writing poetry for hire. It is a memorial of a million poems written by people who do not usually write poetry. They would talk to those who are grieving and listen to the points of communication.

“We as a nation need empathy,” said 35-year-old Tanya Alves of Weston, Florida, who lost her 24-year-old sister to COVID-19 in October. “Two years after the pandemic, with all the cases and lives lost, we need to be more compassionate and respectful when it comes to COVID. Thousands of families have changed forever. This virus is not just a cold. “

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

https://www.thereporteronline.com/2022/05/16/us-deaths-from-covid-hit-1-million-less-than-2-1-2-years-in/

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