09.28.2020 07:59 PM

One million dead

From the New York Times, here. Read this. It’s apocalyptic. And the writing is extraordinary.

More than H.I.V. More than dysentery. More than malaria, influenza, cholera and measles — combined.

In the 10 months since a mysterious pneumonia began striking residents of Wuhan, China, Covid-19 has killed more than one million people worldwide as of Monday — an agonizing toll compiled from official counts, yet one that far understates how many have really died. It may already have overtaken tuberculosis and hepatitis as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, and unlike all the other contenders, it is still growing fast.

Like nothing seen in more than a century, the coronavirus has infiltrated every populated patch of the globe, sowing terror and poverty, infecting millions of people in some nations and paralyzing entire economies. But as attention focuses on the devastation caused by halting a large part of the world’s commercial, educational and social life, it is all too easy to lose sight of the most direct human cost.

More than a million people — parents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors, colleagues, teachers, classmates — all gone, suddenly, prematurely. Those who survive Covid-19 are laid low for weeks or even months before recovering, and many have lingering ill effects whose severity and duration remain unclear.

Yet much of the suffering could have been avoided — one of the most heartbreaking aspects of all.

“This is a very serious global event, and a lot of people were going to get sick and many of them were going to die, but it did not need to be nearly this bad,” said Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which aims to protect people’s health from epidemics and disasters.

6 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    More deaths than tuberculosis? Hmm, 1.5 million died of TB in 2018. Even with a decrease, I am pretty sure more people will have died of TB than from COVID-19.

  2. I’m not betting a dime on a supposed COVID-19 end date because just imagine if there never is one. That would be a first, unless of course, it’s biologically impossible. (I know zip about that.)

    (Sort of like this Prime Minister when it comes to confidence motions: why would it suddenly be a great idea now, when it sure wasn’t right before prorogation? LOL.)

  3. joe long says:

    Several points.

    The vast majority of COVID deaths are the elderly. Very, very few children and young people have perished from COVID.

    The other diseases such as cholera, measles, and dysentery, kill large numbers of children each year.

    Globally how many people die each year? Please take a guess good reader. The number of deaths each year is fifty-seven million.

    Why do I bring this all up? Question? Would the people who have died, the vast majority who are elderly, have died this year any way?

    Large numbers of people are forgoing medical exams and treatment, due to the chance of getting COVID.

    Perhaps a better approach to our long term survival and health is to reopen the economy, allowing those who are best able to handle the disease to get it. In this way fewer people may die from COVID, and fewer may die from lack of medical care. The focus; protect the most vulnerable, unlike Andrew Cuomo who moved people sick with COVID into long term care facilities for seniors.

    • Max says:

      Joe Long, I’m guessing you voted for Maxime Bernier in last election, no? “Would the elderly people who died, would have died anyway?” You remind me of a certain President* who also lacks empathy. Obviously you don’t know anyone with underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, COPD, cancer, obesity who live productive lives for years. And your approach is to re-open the economy?! The fact that economies were restricted (impossible to close) was to buy time to allow Public Health experts to do their work. Like, you know Joe… PPE, contract tracing, testing. The very reason the US economy is in the tank because the 2 are intricately linked. And your suggestion “allowing those who can handle Covid to get it”. Aside from the only quacks pushing herd immunity are in the White House (because its bad science), might I suggest you hit the nearest underground bar tonight unmasked and then show up here with your You Tube videos showing us all how you “handle it”. Lastly, in the early days, Cuomo was one of 5 states who did the same thing. 3 were led by Republican Governors. But hey, never miss an opportunity to push Blue State nonsense. Lastly, I laughed at your strategy of allowing more people to get the virus so that fewer will die. Kinda reminded me of the strategy to test less so the cases will decrease.

      • joe long says:

        Max,

        I didn’t vote for Maxime Bernier in the last election.

        “Obviously you don’t know anyone with underlying conditions … ” Actually I have diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney issues. So I am quite familiar with “underlying conditions”. Members of my family have died from cancer, have survived cancer, and are presently dealing with cancer. This makes us all more susceptible to the advese effects of COVID.

        A member of my family has survived COVID.

        A few of my friends have had COVID and survived. They, like me, think it is time to re-open the economy. Perhaps it is time to listen to these voices, instead of just labeling them “quacks”.

        Large numbers of people are deferring or cancelling medical treatment due to the lockdown. Their health issues are real too. Let’s have empathy for them too.

        Max, what is YOUR go forward plan?

        Early on the approach recommended by public health authorities was to “flatten the curve” to avoid over taxing our hospitals and health care system. Has it now evolved into “let’s prevent everyone from getting the virus?

        The new information appears to be that only the very old and those with underlying conditions are at risk of major complications and perhaps death. How do we use this information Max? Does it cause us to do anything differently?

        Let’s have that discussion.

        Picking on blue states? Well as for Cuomo, he’s the one writing a book about how well he handled the outbreak. CNN called Cuomo’s handling of COVID, “Presidential”. Personally I think he made a number of very bad decisions. Perhaps Max, you believe Cuomo did an exemplary job?

  4. Gilbert says:

    China should have warned us about human to human transmission. The numbers coming from China are simply not credible. We also needed to know that masks help (many experts were wrong about this). Even those who are asymptomatic can spread the virus.

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