The first Americans to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were injected this morning and that's good news, but the vast majority of people won't be vaccinated for some time and a lot of damage has already been done.
By some other counts we already crossed a threshold of 300,000 deaths over the weekend, but NBC News and Reuters both reported a toll of 300,000 this afternoon with projections for many more in the coming months.
It took 27 days to go from 250,000 total U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 300,000 - the fastest 50,000-death jump since the pandemic began. Some models project that deaths could reach 500,000 before vaccines become widely available in the spring and summer. [...]
According to Reuters analysis, the United States is reporting 91 deaths per 100,000 people, seventh worst in the world on a per capita basis and 2.5 times the rate in Canada.
The nation’s hospitals are flooding with COVID-19 patients, threatening to overwhelm healthcare systems and providers. There are over 108,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the highest since the first coronavirus case was detected in the country in January.
Honestly, the idea that we're going to see another 200,000 people die over the next six months feels almost too fantastical to believe, but the idea that we would lose 300,000 felt that way at some point as well. Now it's close to inevitable.
The Trump regime has only secured enough doses of two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna to vaccinate about a third of the country over the next six months. The incoming Biden administration has set a goal of vaccinating 100 million people in their first 100 days, but that is a reflection of the number of doses already secured by the White House. That leaves another 230 million Americans waiting and I'm sure I will be among that number. And the Biden administration could secure more doses of additional vaccines that win approval from the FDA, but that's going to take time.
The point is that, to some extent, our projected death tolls are already baked in by the size of our current outbreak and the amount of time it's going to take to vaccinate enough people (about 75 percent of the country) to reach some form of broad immunity.
And you know what? A large number of Americans don't even care. I don't know how we're going to process it in the coming years, or what we can do to change things, but the Trump regime and the pandemic has taught me that a lot of Americans really don't care about their neighbors much less people who live on another side of town or another state.
Not every election should be a matter of life and death, but they all may be for the foreseeable future as long as so many Americans and one of our two political parties -- the Republican party -- remains objectively pro-death. If they aren't pro-death, the best thing you could say for them is they're indifferent to massive loss of life.