Coronavirus

An American Dies From COVID-19 Every 30 Seconds

And we have only our cultural failures to blame

Joe Duncan
Dec 5, 2020 · 5 min read
People vector created by pikisuperstar — www.freepik.com

he United States broke a terrifying record yesterday, reporting the most deaths per day of any day since the pandemic began. Over 3,100 Americans died from COVID-19. That’s more than those who died on 9/11. With the cold weather finally here in much of America, the virus is finding easy spreading grounds with people working and, for some odd reason, gathering indoors.

And now, between Black Friday and Thanksgiving gatherings, as well as a substantial portion of the American population who are still in denial about the virus and its potentiality for destruction, it seems the worst is yet to come.

Daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are exceeding 200,000 cases/day in December.

An American dies every 30 seconds from COVID-19. That means, by the time you finish this story, ten Americans will have died struggling to breathe in hospitals somewhere around the country. And as we approach 280,000 total deaths since the pandemic began, the grim-yet-realistic forecast is that we’ll top 4,000 deaths per day, or more, shortly.

Daily COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are approaching 3,000 deaths/day in December.

To put this all in perspective, the U.S. usually averages 8,023 deaths per day. That’s a death every 10 seconds for all of the other causes of death combined. Annual deaths from car accidents are 33,700, and even the opiate epidemic Americans are so quick to lash out against only killed 14,800 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Only 90 people are killed in car accidents per day, and 3,100 were killed by COVID yesterday.

Centers for Disease Control

With the trajectory as it is, COVID-19 might possibly be the leading cause of death for Americans by the year’s end, depending on how uncautious people were over the Thanksgiving holidays. Some have been suspecting it would be for quite a while.

As early as April, predictions were made that it would be the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. That was long before this latest climb in cases, and it’s already claimed third place.

Now, COVID-19 is killing one person every 30 seconds with no signs of stopping. As you can see from the charts below, both the daily number of new cases and hospitalizations are on the rise.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. are exceeding 100,000 hospitalizations/day in December.

Meanwhile, many people have taken the stance that they aren’t actively participating in any deaths, or so they believe (though this is demonstrably false when we view masked vs. maskless populations). While the evidence supporting the efficacy of mask-wearing isn’t quite complete, which makes sense considering it’s a novel virus, thus far it suggests that mask-wearing can reduce the odds of contracting SARS-CoV-2 by 96%.

Yet, many people are still adamant; it’s their free choice to disregard safety precautions. Anti-mask protests are still going on around the country. Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis has pledged not to implement lockdowns and has preemptively nullified any fines that local governments might issue over violations of mask mandates in their own communities.

An American dies every 30 seconds from COVID-19. That means, by the time you finish this story, ten Americans will have died struggling to breathe in hospitals somewhere around the country.

And what I find curious about this fact is how many of the same people are perpetually itching to condemn pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic, yet, can’t be bothered to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic — and they actively fight tooth-and-nail to have the freedom not to wear one.

Some Americans will blame the government for not responding to the opioid epidemic and actively thwart the government from responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no question doing so is risking the health and safety of themselves and everyone around them.

And doing the math, it doesn’t add up.

If only 14,800 people die per year from opiates and nearly 280,000 have died this year thus far from COVID, the seriousness with which we need to be addressing each of these problems is an ethical no-brainer. There’s no question which one should be taken more seriously right now.

And still, our social media feeds are riddled with people simultaneously complaining about a lack of response to the opioid epidemic and staunchly opposing sensible measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

And it doesn’t stop there. Ready for a little virus-on-virus action? Consider how many of the same people who are against mask-wearing think that knowingly giving someone HIV should be a crime. They either refuse to see the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2, or they want to tell other people what to do and simultaneously fight for their own right to put others at risk.

They think a person who has HIV should have to wear a condom or they’re guilty of a crime, but they don’t think a person should have to wear a mask or they’re guilty of a crime. For what it’s worth, only 15,820 Americans died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2018. Again, the math doesn’t add up. We have a priorities problem. The hypocrisy is palpable.

Consider how many of the same people who are against mask-wearing think that knowingly giving someone HIV should be a crime.

The only way out of this is when Americans finally start taking this virus as seriously as they should be. Masks work. Social distancing works. This pandemic has exposed an Achilles heel in the American cultural Zeitgeist, the cultural pandemic we quietly face every single day, and it can be summed up as the American belief that inaction and irresponsibility in the face of crisis are morally blameless positions and courses of action. The truth is, we’re just as responsible for what we don’t do as what we do.

One only needs to consult these two Medium stories by Shin Jie Yong to see just how effective masks are against this thing.

Microbial Instincts

Decoding the microbial angle to health and the microbial world.

Joe Duncan

Written by

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

Microbial Instincts

Decoding the microbial angle to health and the microbial world.

Joe Duncan

Written by

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

Microbial Instincts

Decoding the microbial angle to health and the microbial world.

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