This past weekend, the news reported that the US is closing in on 100,000 people who have died from Covid-19 in the past 3 months.
I’m willing to concede this number is not 100% accurate. News reports claim the number has been understated and overstated for differing credible reasons.
Some of these people were likely going to die anyway from old age, comorbidities and diseases. Other people may have died because of Covid-19 but were never diagnosed with it. And let’s not forget that we’re dealing with estimates that comes from partial data provided by 1000s of hospitals, coroners, funeral homes and public health agencies.
News organizations, health care companies and government agencies all have vested interests in higher or lower death counts.
So I will stipulate that 100,000 is not the precise number of Covid-19 deaths in the US to date.
Still, it got me thinking about 100,000 people dying and trying to put it into in a perspective I could understand.
- In my early years I lived in a town of 9,000.
- My grade school had 900 students.
- My middle school had 600 students
- My high school had 1500 students.
- The last place I lived in Florida had 85,000 residents.
All of them would be dead.
- Everyone I knew from my childhood hometown. Aunts, Uncles, Neighbors, the baseball team, swimmers from the pool, kids at camp, firemen, police, bartenders, pizza makers, newspaper boys.
- Every kid from 1st to 5th grade would be dead.
- Six floors of kids from my overcrowded middle school would be wiped out.
- The thousands of teens I spent 40 hours a week with for 4 years would all be dead.
- My entire city – with traffic so bad I wouldn’t drive during rush hour, with tens of thousands of homes, apartments and condos, it’s own police force, fire force, paramedics and school system, – wiped off the face of the earth.
Maybe 100,000 Covid deaths isn’t a lot when compared to other death estimates for flu, lung cancer, heart attacks and car crashes.
We can argue the numbers. We can extrapolate the data. We can play statistics games.
But one thing I can see is that a lot of people have died. If I knew them or they were near to me, I would be overwhelmed.
I’m not overwhelmed.
I still only know 1 person who had Covid and nobody who has died from it. I suspect that will change in time.
But even if it doesn’t, 100,000 is not just a number.