Tuesday, September 21, 2021

COVID-19 death toll passes 1918 flu epidemic as 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus, a pandemic update

While I was focusing on the Emmy Awards last week, the U.S. passed two grim milestones in the pandemic. The more recent was one I reported six months ago: "Dr. Ali Mokdad replied that COVID-19 may kill more people than the Spanish flu...Even if I only concentrate on total U.S. deaths, that means more than 675,000 deaths." That happened this week, as Houston's 12 News Now uploaded COVID-19 death toll surpasses estimated death toll of 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

As of Monday, more than 675,000 Americans have died from complications due to COVID-19.
One of the TV stations I grew up with in southern California, KABC/ABC7 in Los Angeles, had a more comprehensive clip in this morning's Coronavirus death toll in US reaches 1918 influenza pandemic estimates.

The United States has now reached about 675,000 COVID-related deaths. That is the same number of Americans estimated to have been killed in the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919. It bears noting that the population of the U.S. is now three times what it was a century ago which means the Spanish flu killed a much greater percentage of the population.
CNBC presented the percentages when I reported Covid is officially America’s deadliest pandemic as U.S. fatalities surpass 1918 flu estimates yesterday.
In 1918, for example, the U.S. population was less than a third of today’s with an estimated 103 million people living in America just before the roaring 1920s. Today, there are nearly 330 million people living in the U.S. That means the 1918 flu killed about 1 in every 150 Americans, compared with 1 in 500 who have died from Covid so far.
In terms of total deaths, COVID-19 is now the deadliest epidemic in U.S. history. As a share of the total population, it will probably never exceed the 1918 flu. That doesn't make it any less of a tragedy.

CBS News took a deeper dive last week into the fatality rates followed by a discussion of vaccines and booster shots in 1 in 500 Americans have died from COVID-19 since beginning of the pandemic.

The pandemic continues to devastate the U.S., as 1 in 500 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Meanwhile, the country is pushing its vaccination efforts amid talks of implementing possible booster shots. Urgent care nurse practitioner Justin Gill joined CBSN to talk about the latest coronavirus news.
The statistic that struck me was that 1 in 35 Americans over age 85 have died from the disease since the start of 2020. One on the one hand, it's stunning. On the other, it may be why some people have been discounting the disease; it's happening in a population that is mostly out of sight and out of mind, so its impact might be ignored by people inclined to do so. Ugh.

I close by repeating my closing from March: "Total U.S. mortality from the pandemic could exceed 700,000 before this is all over. YIKES! May none of my readers be among this toll."

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