Vaccine United

Opinion: One Million

By: Vaccine United Staff

There are a lot of numbers being bandied about regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on the second anniversary of its arrival in the US.

There’s the usual daily count of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. There’s the dwindling number of states and municipalities enforcing restrictions, the number of renters facing eviction, utility customers behind on their bills, and workers struggling to find a job.

Many of the numbers are even relatively positive, like the ever (slowly) increasing number of vaccinated and boosted individuals, the number of those returning to work, and some overall positive trends of economic recovery. Or like the remarkably short time in which vaccinations were developed, tested, approved, and distributed.

But there is one particularly sobering number underlying all of them: one million – the approximate number of deaths from COVID in the US over the last two years or so.

It underlies every other number.

We’ve become accustomed to the daily death counts. As they’ve gone down, the numbers almost become palatable. Indeed, the “only” 13 reported deaths in New Jersey in the 24 hours preceding this writing sounds almost like a victory.

But one million is a large number, no matter how you frame it, and it guarantees that every single one of us in this country has been touched by death during the pandemic. That’s one million friends, neighbors, and family members. One million voters, workers, and consumers. One million souls.

We owe it to them, and to all who grieve them, to do better; to do everything possible not to add to that number. Stay safe, stay clean, and get vaccinated.