New York, Feb 23 (EFE) .- It is difficult to put into perspective a figure that is written with only six digits that almost do not occupy place, that do not consume much ink, but 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in a year in the United States it is a health tragedy of unprecedented dimensions, especially for the richest country in the world.
The first confirmed death from coronavirus in the United States occurred on February 6 in Santa Clara County (California), according to post-mortem examinations of a deceased who was not properly diagnosed with a disease that was spreading in China, but who did not yet have my name.
Patricia Dowd, 57, became the number one deceased in this pandemic despite having a history of good health. She died at her home in San José, from what her husband and daughter initially thought was a heart attack suffered while recovering from the flu.
Under the surface of normality, covid-19 spread in February undetected by large urban centers on both coasts of the country, until in March the first measures began to be taken to contain the spread of the disease in Seattle or New York.
Twelve months later, 500,000 people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus have died, each with a story, a life, family or friends, similar to those left behind by Dowd.
THE DIMENSIONS OF A NUMBER
Half a million people from last February until this week, when the figure was exceeded, is equivalent to almost 42,000 deaths per month, about 1,400 deaths per day, 58 lives lost every hour, a daughter, son, father or mother leaving early almost in every minute of a whole year.
All the deceased by coronavirus in the United States do not fit in five Camp Nous (the stadium of FC Barcelona); They do not fit in the 46,000 square meters of the Zócalo in Mexico City, the largest square in Latin America.
The disease has taken a number of people who in the first months could have crowded the Plaza de Colón in Madrid, in summer having flooded the entire Paseo de Recoletos until reaching the Plaza de Cibeles and in recent months the third wave take the Paseo del Prado and occupy the Glorieta de Atocha.
To print the names of each and every one of the deceased in the United States would require two books the size of the Bible.
In Washington they have lost count of how many times they have tried to scale the mortality of covid-19 with flags, lights or other symbols. The last time was on January 19, the eve of the new President Joe Biden’s inauguration, in the placid reflecting pool in front of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial; 100,000 Americans have since died.
The number is even more spectacular and difficult to understand when considering the impact on millions of homes and the hearts of family and friends, the only place where there is room for the dimension of tragedy.
ONE OF THE FIRST CAUSES OF DEATH
As Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s main epidemiologist, indicated on Monday, “it cannot be explained how such a rich and sophisticated country can have the highest percentage of deaths and be the worst hit in the world.”
For Fauci, this is the greatest health and mortality crisis experienced by the world’s leading power in a century and that in the future, those who lived in 2020 and 2021 will be remembered as the survivors of a “horrible” time.
There are only two health problems comparable to covid-19: heart disease and cancer, established health problems that are much more complicated to contain, which were responsible in 2019 for more than half a million deaths each.
The inclusion in 2021 of covid-19 as a third giant in terms of causes of death has reduced life expectancy by one year to 77.8 years, one of the worst in the developed world for a country where millions do not have access to medical coverage that allows affordable treatments.
In addition, it has strongly affected the Hispanic population, which is younger. According to an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if mortality from covid-19 is adjusted for age, they are the group most affected by the disease, with eight points of difference over the majority Anglo-Saxon.
(c) EFE Agency