400,000 Invisible COVID-19 Deaths in US

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Day 297: Stay Safe Minnesota

Nearly 400,000 Americans have now died of covid-19 and the latest 100,000 deaths took less than 5 weeks.

The Washing Post reporters Marc Fisher, Lori Rozsa, Mark Kreidler and Annie Gowen in a recent article highlight and bring attention to those 400,000 Americans who died due to COVID-19 infection. “The numbers are huge and the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed daily life, from work to play to the most basic of human relationships.”

Nearly 400,000 Americans have now died of covid-19. It took 12 weeks for the death toll to rise from 200,000 to 300,000. The death toll has leaped from 300,000 to almost 400,000 in less than five weeks. That is the quickest pace of 100,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

The Washington Post

The post article highlights the human side of the COVID-19 death tolls that most of us learn from media headlines only. Highlighting the invisible aspects of these deaths, Marc Fisher and colleagues write:

“Coronavirus victims who die in the hospital often spend their final days cut off from family and friends, their only human contact coming from medical personnel hidden behind layers of protective gear. Even those who die at home often decline in quarantine, keeping a lonely vigil over their body’s fight.”

Bringing our attention to the further indignities these casualties suffer, they write:

“Storage in refrigerator trucks parked outside overwhelmed funeral homes, funerals that must be closed to mourners, lonely burials, cremations delayed by weeks or months because of the backlog.”

“The pace of death has never been faster, despite all efforts by scientists, public health officials and politicians. The historically swift development of effective vaccines, improved treatment of the most severe cases and a stronger consensus around mask-wearing have failed so far against the shortcomings of an overwhelmed health-care system, a painfully slow start to the vaccination campaign, and a continuing political divide over how serious the virus is and how hard to try to contain it,” the Post reports.

Incoming director of the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky told in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday:

“And in just the next month, another 100,000 lives could be lost to the disease. I think we still have some dark weeks ahead.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky On the Face The Nation (Jan 17 Sunday: source: CNN)

For more detail on stories of some of the COVID-19 invisible deaths by Marc Fishers and colleague in the Post: 400,000: The invisible deaths of covid-19

Nearly 6,000 Deaths in Minnesota

On Sunday Jan 17, death toll of those Minnesotans who died due to COVID-19 crossed 5,900, according to the state’s COVID-19 latest update.

“Averaged over the past seven days, most key COVID metrics continue to move in an encouraging direction as the state begins its third full week of 2021. The state is averaging about 31 deaths a day over the past week, and the average test positivity rate is now just below 4.6 percent.” MPR News reports.

According to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard (as of Jan 17), a total of 221,183 peoples have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. About 35,800 people in Minnesota have received both doses (as of Sunday).

COVID Victims Remembered

On night before his inauguration as 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden standing in front of the Reflecting Pool, which was surrounded by 400 lights meant to mark the 400,000 people who have died from Covid-19 paid tribute saying “To heal we must remember”, according to the New York Times.

Screenshot from the New York Times

“It’s hard sometimes to remember. But that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation. That’s why we’re here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember all whom we lost,” said Mr Biden, the Times reports.

COVID-19 Vaccination Watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Jan 19, 9 a.m.) 31,161,075 doses have been distributed and 15,707,588 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Jan 16) a total of 238,935 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Jan 19, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 448,268 (out of 6,188,091 tested) with 5,945 deaths.