It has just been announced that the United States has reached 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.
A half a million deaths among the 28 million confirmed cases. About 30% of those infected continue to have symptoms for weeks/months.
All of this in about a year’s time.
I had been watching a recording of mass for the first Sunday of Lent. When it finished, I tuned to a news channel. One of the frequent medical contributors, herself a physician, was speaking about the deaths and was struggling to keep from crying. The host noted how appropriate it was to react emotionally, as she herself was.
Such enormous loss. So much suffering. A reminder that, despite medical advances, we are nearing the death toll of the 1918 flu pandemic.
My eyes are filling with tears as I write this, both from the huge losses in our country and the world and from the losses of each one. Just recently added to the list a friend of my sister’s, the father of B’s co-worker, a resident in the apartments of Paco’s senior community.
Even with the vaccines becoming available, there will be many more illnesses and deaths. There will be uncertainty from the new variants’ effects, how long immunity will last after infection or vaccination, how people will behave as recommendations and policies change.
But today is overwhelmingly sad.