As US Passes 200,000 COVID Deaths, How Many More Will Die?
Public health experts offer thoughts on what the next six months of the pandemic could look like, as the nation tries to digest 200,000 lives lost -- more Americans than those who died in World War I and the Vietnam War combined.
We've Hit 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths In 6 Months. What Will The Next 6 Months Look Like?
It's been six months since the World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then, over 30 million people worldwide have been infected, and we're rapidly approaching 1 million global deaths. The U.S. is among the world's most-affected countries, now hitting a sobering milestone: 200,000 American lives lost to COVID-19. (Croll, 9/22)
200,000 American Lives Lost From COVID-19: Here's What We've Learned
On March 13, President Donald Trump stood in the White House Rose Garden and said "two very big words," as he put it, that would shift Americans' understanding of the novel coronavirus, from a distant problem to a threat that hit closer to home. "I am officially declaring a national emergency," Trump said that day. (Schumaker, 9/22)
Why The U.S. Stopped Caring About COVID-19 Deaths
Sometime this week, alone on a hospital bed, an American died. The coronavirus had invaded her lungs, soaking them in fluid and blocking the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that makes up our every breath. Her immune system’s struggle to fight back might have sparked an overreaction called a cytokine storm, which shreds even healthy tissue. The doctors tried everything, but they couldn’t save her, and she became the 200,000th American taken by COVID-19—at least according to official counts. In reality, the COVID-19 death toll probably passed 200,000 some time ago. And yet “the photos of body bags have not had the same effect in the pandemic” as after other mass-casualty events such as Hurricane Katrina, says Lori Peek, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who studies disasters. “Is our national empathy—our care and love and concern for one another—at such a low level that we are not truly feeling, in our bones, in our hearts, and in our souls, the magnitude of the loss?” (Khazan, 9/22)
Where Did The 200,000 COVID-19 Victims Die? A Growing Share In Smaller Towns
When COVID-19 claimed its first 100,000 lives in the U.S., Hidalgo County, Texas, seemed to have avoided the worst of it. The county, which sits on the border with Mexico, had just 10 deaths when the U.S. crossed that tragic milestone on May 27. But the U.S. has now doubled its death count to top 200,000 victims, and Hidalgo County has become one of the deadliest hot spots for COVID-19. Despite the lack of dense urban areas there — its largest city, McAllen, has fewer than 150,000 residents — the disease has killed more than 1,500 people across the county. (McMinn, Talbot and Eng, 9/22)
In related news —
As US Hits 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths, Experts Warn Of Growing Mental Health Crisis
As the United States crosses the grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19-related deaths, experts are warning about a less visible but worrisome outbreak happening simultaneously: increasingly poor mental health. More than half of U.S. adults -- about 53% -- reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the pandemic, according to a nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kindelan, 9/22)