As of Wednesday, 5/11/22, Covid deaths destroyed one million lives. The wealthiest, most advanced and powerful country in the world has the highest recorded deaths. An unthinkable milestone was reached in just 27 months. More than the total number of lives lost from all the wars we’ve ever fought, combined.
400 Americans still die every day. It’s not as bad as it had been, when thousands died a day and COVID was the leading cause of death, as in February 2022, during the Omicron surge.
It is a devastating medical issue that requires the expertise, advice and guidance from our top medical facilities to show us how to navigate safely. It has instead been usurped by politicians spewing lies about vaccines and treatments that keep people safe, healthy and most importantly-alive. We had the chance to be a shining example. Instead they chose a path where their deceit and manipulations directly caused hundreds of thousands of deaths under the banner we should have the freedom to choose what we put on, or in, our bodies, all the while stripping women of that very same right.
Most of those deaths – more than 80 percent from April to December 2021- were unvaccinated Americans. As of February 2022, the risk of death from COVID is 20 times higher for unvaccinated people than for those who were vaccinated and boosted, according to the CDC. All preventable.
All the data has proven, without a doubt, vaccines work. Social distancing works. Limiting crowds and staying outdoors works. Wearing a mask works. These mechanisms protects us and everyone around us, but misinformation and lies have cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Just not those of the politicians. They are getting vaccinated. They are getting all the best medical interventions possible including treatments average citizens couldn’t get if they became infected or know nothing about because others keep claiming publicly it’s all a hoax. They survived. One million have not.
Over 200,000 children are orphans. A devastating and lasting cost rarely acknowledged, let alone discussed. Over 200,000 children have been put at risk for their very survival.
The New York Times ran a front page story with all the names of those who died when we hit 100,000. We surpassed one million in silence. Joseph Stalin was quoted as saying, “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”
How did this become normal? The wound COVID inflicts isn’t limited to family and friends. It’s estimated every soul lost to COVID impacts one hundred other lives. It has overwhelmed hospitals and healthcare workers, shattered the work force and lead to a catastrophic economic meltdown. And those most impacted were older people and those of color. Those marginalized and easily dismissed.
COVID may feel over for those of us able to get healthcare and vaccines, but not for others.
So many of those who perished because of COVID died for political agendas. In over 30 years of practice I’ve never seen a health issue dealt with so deplorably.
We are all tired, frustrated and fed up with restrictions, guidelines and even talking about COVID.
So we don’t.
But it’s still here.
Those of us who are vaccinated rarely require hospitalization or die. But long haul COVID symptoms after an infection still afflicts 30-50% of all cases. We, along with everyone infected by COVID, still have a 60% increased risk of having a stroke or cardiovascular event in the year following a COVID infection. We can still unknowingly infect others when we have no symptoms at all.
I still have several patients test positive every week. And every one of those were people shocked it wasn’t just allergies, a cold, sinus infection, indigestion, irritable bowel, stress because, “COVID is over.”
It is not.
But thankfully with all we can offer it has changed from the life threatening, frightening disease of over a year ago. Now we are learning how to live with it. Keeping up with every available option to prevent infection will finally let us all return to normal activities without risking our health or the health of others.
We’ve already lost 1,000,000 souls. Let’s not lose any more.