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Sara’s Diary, Day 47 without baseball: Insomnia

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Tuesday brought grim pandemic milestones

A man wearing a mask visits the deserted Vietnam Memorial in April
Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

I had big plans for today’s entry and I’m going to push them to later this week. Last night brought on a particularly bad bout of insomnia. Whether it’s the lack of sleep, the constant state of anxiety and dread, or just a bad day, I’ve been struggling to wrap my brain around some of the numbers that are being reported. I’m going to mostly let those numbers speak for themselves today.

As of this writing there are over one million COVID-19 cases in the United States and over 57,000 people have died from the pandemic. I want to put that latter number in perspective for a minute because it is rapidly approaching the number of American men and women killed in the Vietnam War: 58,220.

The Congressional Research Service reports that it took twenty years of conflict for 58,220 men and women to die in Vietnam. Even with the new reporting this week that the first deaths due to COVID-19 were on February 6, much earlier than originally reported, it’s only taken a little over two and a half months for the pandemic to equal that death toll.

It is difficult to comprehend that amount of death in such a short time period. It’s not much easier to look at - these graphs from the Washington Post showing the spike in deaths were shared by BCBer ddoubleheader in yesterday’s entry and they are just stunning:

Excess deaths and COVID-19 deaths in the US in 2020
Washington Post

To be clear, those charts indicate there are likely more deaths due to the pandemic than have been attributed to it.

The Vietnam War in two and a half months. In retrospect it seems perfectly clear why I can’t sleep.