As I think about it right now, it feels like a quaint and distant memory when projections that up to 600,000 Americans would be killed by the coronavirus felt dire, but we had little reason to think that another quarter million people would die after the introduction of vaccines.
The United States surpassed 800,000 coronavirus deaths according to the New York Times' count and if it feels like we jumped from 700,000 to 800,000 relatively fast, it's because we did.
Coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 800,000 on Wednesday, according to a New York Times database, as the pandemic neared the end of a second year and as known virus cases in this country rose above 50 million.
More than 1,200 people in the United States are dying from Covid-19 each day.
The last 100,000 deaths occurred in less than 11 weeks as the pace of death has picked up, moving faster than at any time other than last winter’s surge. The current uptick is being driven by the Delta variant. It is not yet known how the Omicron variant, which continues to emerge in more states, might affect those trends in the coming weeks and months.
With the Delta variant of the virus still spreading over the holidays alongside the arrival of the new Omicron variant, I feel a strong and surreal sense of déjà vu; as if nothing really changed in the last year. The outset of last winter's surge felt like staring into the cold abyss and now I have that same feeling again. It may take another year or it may not, but we're inching toward 1 million coronavirus deaths.
I have personally changed a great deal since last winter's coronavirus surge. At a glance I am unrecognizable even to myself at times, but the current state of affairs is very familiar. One could disassociate from the world as much as I have in the last year to focus on my own progress and not have missed much.
I'm not a psychologist, but it can't be healthy that the United States has become so numb to this scale of preventable death. I must look in the mirror and acknowledge that I have personally gone through periods wherein I forgot over 1,000 people were dying every day. Our indifference to coronavirus deaths now mirrors our growing indifference to mass casualty shootings. Can we truly say it matters that 100 Americans are shot on an average weekend when over 3,000 will die from coronavirus complications over the same time period? Both are preventable, but we've given up on prevention.
Our brains can only handle so much before survival instincts tell us to stop paying attention, but it's easier to do that when the Amazon trucks are still running.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my delivery is just a few stops away.