The United States has recently reached a sobering loss of more than 100,000 souls to the coronavirus pandemic. Just one is far too many, and there are many questions about how the U.S. is faring compared to the rest of the world. Here’s a breakdown of the latest coronavirus numbers from around the world.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are nearly 6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally and 357,929 recorded deaths. If compared to the global population, which sits at about 7.58 billion, about .07% of the world’s population has been infected and .004% have died.
To compare, the World Health Organization reports that the flu kills about 290,000 to 650,000 people per year, but that’s not the world’s leading cause of death. The top ten causes of death, ranging from two to ten million people, are ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, lung conditions (trachea, bronchus, lung cancers), diabetes mellitus, road injury, diarrheal diseases and tuberculosis. Three of these conditions, lower respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases and tuberculosis, are preventable and/or treatable with medical intervention.
When it comes to the United States and COVID, more than 1.7 million have been infected and 101,196 have died, which is about 5% of all those infected. While a sobering statistic, which should elicit a feeling of mourning across the country, the vast majority of people are recovering. There’s also some indication that many more people already have the antibodies than the official infection rate suggests, meaning that the recovery rate could actually be far higher.
This is good news, and the U.S. is faring much better than several other countries. In the United Kingdom, about 14% of those infected with COVID-19 have died. The number was the same in Italy with about 14%. The number is higher in France at 15% and in Belgium it is 16%.
Sadly, the U.S. does lead with the highest number of global deaths due to COVID.
But some of that can just be attributed to its larger population. The United States is actually the third most populous country on earth, behind China and India, which both have a billion more citizens at 1.394 billion and 1.326 billion respectively compared to 329.7 million in the U.S.
While the accuracy of China’s infection reports is suspect, it’s not the same case in India where authorities there have recorded about 165,386 infections and 4,711 deaths. While that’s better than the U.S., Indian authorities are concerned about the explosive growth of infections in the country. When the country first shut down many businesses in March, those that lost their jobs in the cities returned to their villages, potentially spreading the virus in rural areas. There is a fair amount of concern that infections could be far more than officially reported since India’s testing rate still remains low.
So, what does this all mean?
Though the situation remains a concern and everyone should follow the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S.’s population probably has more impact on the statistics than being overly infected or having a higher death rate than anywhere else. All things considered—it is good news.
In the coming days, pray that the authorities at the local and federal level have the wisdom and guidance to carefully balance the need for protecting people, resources, livelihoods and the economic prosperity of the country as the businesses slowly begin to open back up. There is no blueprint on how to react to something like COVID, but hopefully time and medical breakthroughs will soon curb the spread of this deadly disease.
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