It's been about two months now since COVID-19 first started making the rounds in the United States. Numbers vary by source and the precise moment you check, but deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are currently around 100 people.
100 Americans have died from this virus in two months. This is tragic. But, let's take a beat to put that statistic in perspective.
In the same two month period, on average:
- 106,000 Americans died from heart disease.
- 100,000 Americans died from cancer.
- 27,000 Americans died from a fall, an accidental poisoning, or a traffic collision.
- 4,000 Americans died from influenza.
- 400 Americans have been murdered and nearly 8,000 Americans have committed suicide.
100 Americans dead from a new disease can sound scary, especially if you find yourself inundated all day, every day with media reports about it. But try to grasp the actual scale of the problem.
Over 600,000 Americans die every year from heart disease and we've never had government-mandated closures of fast food restaurants. Over 34,000 Americans died in traffic accidents last year, and we didn't close the highways.
100 Americans (out of 330 million) have died of COVID-19 and we are shutting down the U.S. economy in response, sending potentially millions of people into financial ruin.
My prediction: far more Americans will die by suicide in response to poverty resulting from our COVID-19 containment measures - than will die from the virus itself.
The real virus is fear.