A Tribute to 700,000 Deaths

By Michelle Pan

As October of 2021 comes to a close, we are rapidly approaching the two-year mark since the coronavirus pandemic began. This month, the United States reached another record-breaking milestone–700,000 deaths, more than seven times what former President Donald Trump had predicted and expected to be the maximum number possible. Shockingly, this staggering report appears at a time in which COVID-19 vaccines are widely accessible for those that are teenagers or older.  

According to Bloomberg, “The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway. More than 6.75 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 27.5 million doses a day. In the U.S., 409 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 815,541 doses per day were administered.” Yet with the majority of Americans fully vaccinated, the death toll still remains at a surprisingly high level, at over one thousand deaths per day.  

Certain sources believe that this situation may be due to a weak response to the severity of COVID-19 from the federal government and thus the general public at the beginning of the pandemic, as well as a current, ongoing decrease in the request for the first dose of vaccines. In fact, according to ABC News, “On average, the number of Americans receiving a newly authorized Pfizer third dose is now higher than the number of Americans initiating a vaccination each day.” Public health officials continue to emphasize the significance of the COVID-19 vaccines, and urge those that are hesitant to highly consider getting their dose in order to not only protect themselves but others around them in their communities.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “People who have not been fully vaccinated are eight times more likely to test positive, 41 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 57 times more likely to die, compared with people who are vaccinated. If you’re unvaccinated, please go get a shot. It’s free, it’s safe, it’s easy. It’ll help make all of us safer.” 

With this message in mind, we must remember that it has been almost two years since the coronavirus pandemic began. As the death toll speeds past hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States alone, tearing apart families and communities, it is about time that we realize the urgency of this matter and reflect upon our actions. It is about time that we come together as Americans and protect our family, our friends, and one another. 

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