The United States has hit another ugly milestone in the fight against the coronavirus, with 1 in 100 people ages 65 years or older having died of it, The New York Times reports.
It’s merely the latest in a string of data points that put the toll of the pandemic in stark relief — even as much of the political debate over the virus seems to be moving past it, despite a steady toll of more than 1,000 deaths per day.
While Republicans have long opposed mask and vaccine requirements and argued against other coronavirus mitigation measures, even some prominent Democrats are moving in a similar direction. Two Senate Democrats voted against President Biden’s vaccine-or-testing mandate for large businesses last week, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) this weekend signaled that he won’t mandate masks statewide, saying, “We see it as the end of the medical emergency. Frankly, people who want to be protected [have gotten vaccinated]. Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault.”
Republicans, meanwhile, often speak of the pandemic in something amounting to the past tense. “Real America is done with #COVID19,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted this month. “The only people who don’t understand that are [Anthony] Fauci and [President Joe] Biden.”
Whether “real America” is done with he coronavirus or not, the virus is decidedly not done with America. And the toll — both overall and to this date — speaks to that.
Below are some key stats that show how hard the virus has hit us.
1 in 420: The number of Americans who have died of the coronavirus.
1 in 290: The number of people who have died of the virus in the most hard-hit state, Mississippi.
1 in less than 7: The number of Americans who have had confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
1 in 1,300: The number of Americans who have been hospitalized with the virus, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
72%: The percentage of Americans who say they know someone who has died of or been hospitalized with the virus, according to a Pew Research Center poll from September.
One-third: The proportion of Americans who say they’ve had a family member or close friend who has died of the virus, according to an October poll from YouGov. (The numbers were similar across the political spectrum, in case you think people might oversell or undersell the toll of the pandemic in their personal lives for political reasons.)
1 in 8: The number of people, in that same poll, who say a family member has died of the virus.
20th: Where the United States ranks in total per capita deaths worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
1st: Where the United States ranks in total per capita deaths among large countries generally considered to be in the “First World.” (We had regularly been toward the top, in comparison to Western Europe, but we began outpacing the rest of such countries this year and currently rank just above Belgium.)
15.4%: The increase in death-benefit payments from life insurers in 2020 — the largest increase year-over-year since the 1918 flu pandemic — according to the American of Life Insurers.
More: The raw death toll from the coronavirus in the United States, vs. the best estimates of the 1918 flu pandemic. (The per capita death toll remains smaller today, given the increase in population. About 1 in 150 Americans are estimated to have died of the 1918 pandemic, versus 1 in 420 today.)
No. 58: Where the United States ranks in its full-vaccination rate (61.5%), out of about 180 countries for which Johns Hopkins has data. The rate in the United States is shy of almost all of Western Europe, along with Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
And a couple more …
1,218: The average daily death toll since the first coronavirus death was reported in the United States, on Feb. 29, 2020.
1,238: The average daily death toll over the past week.