One year after it all started, we’ve reached the grim milestone of 500,000 Americans dead due to the pandemic. Our family went into semi-lockdown mode in late February 2021. Ninety days later, in June, we knew it (the pandemic) was bad. On June 5th I wrote that 112,000 people had died of COVID-19, and the total could be twice that number before it was over. Wishful thinking.
Five hundred thousand. Imagine a city the size of Louisville, KY, with every person dead and gone. Just empty. More people killed than any of our wars since the (un)Civil War. Actually, as many US deaths than WW 1 and WW 2 combined.
And that’s what a lot of people don’t get about this disease. It’s a war. It may not touch you, or it may kill you. It’s a fickle, invisible enemy. But it’s a war and we should spend whatever it takes to win it, on both the epidemiology and economy fronts. Every person should do their part to win the war (wears masks, doh!) and the Government should prop up businesses and families with direct payments and/or debt relief.
Imagine if aliens (the outer space kind, not the not-born-in US kind) landed in the US and killed 500K Americans, invisibly but inexorably, week by week. You think we wouldn’t mobilize? And do you think that anyone would worry how much Federal money was being spent to win the war? Well, that’s pretty much what happened. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is an alien that invaded us. And we should pull out all the stops to defeat it and make sure our survivors are OK.