Coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the US last year

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We’ve lost over half a million people to the coronavirus, with 375,000 of those deaths happening in 2020. The CDC released a report stating that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in 2020, only behind heart disease and all forms of cancer. They also stated that the overall death rate increased 15.9% from 2019 to 2020. The death rate was highest among people of color.

COVID-19 was the third-underlying cause of death in 2020 after heart disease and cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday.

A pair of reports published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report sheds new light on the approximately 375,000 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 last year, and highlights the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color — a point CDC Director Rochelle Walensky emphasized at a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing on Wednesday.

She said deaths related to COVID-19 were higher among American Indian and Alaskan Native persons, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander persons than whites. She added that “among nearly all of these ethnic and racial minority groups, the COVID-19 related deaths were more than double the death rate of non-Hispanic white persons.”

[From NPR]

This isn’t surprising, but it’s still sobering and hard to hear. It also feels like we haven’t processed this loss as a nation at all. We lost almost 3,000 people in the attacks on 9/11 and we honored them, rightfully, and learned their names. I appreciate Nicolle Wallace’s segment on MSNBC, Lives Well Lived, with photos and stories about people who passed from the virus. She explained in an interview that she came up with it after she realized other outlets weren’t covering the stories of the countless people who have died. Remember the special Lady Gaga arranged, early in the pandemic, which was really somber and sad? We couldn’t sustain that kind of sadness, which is understandable, but in many ways it’s like we just moved on despite the fact that people were still dying in record numbers. We’re getting on the other side of it now with about 17% of the population fully vaccinated, but deaths are ticking up in some areas due to people still not taking precautions. It feels like there’s so much grief to deal with and like the whole nation is in denial.

We lost one of our long term commenters, Escaped Convent, last year. She was known as Nunny to her dear friends including Hecate. Hecate wrote a beautiful tribute to her. To our readers who have lost loved ones, we are so sorry and are thinking of you.

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