Pandemic: US Surpassed One Million Deaths this month

That’s the official number, and it is known to be an undercount.

There are a range of excess-death resources online, including a CDC dedicated Excess Death page associated with the pandemic, which notes other causes of death that increased beyond those associated directly with COVID-19 infections, because people couldn’t access care to address other serious health concerns.

The US President ordered flags flown at half staff earlier this month, which is a memorial tradition here, but it doesn’t feel like enough. We have more mourning and memorializing to do.

With new COVID variants in circulation, and cases still popping up weekly at my workplace, the pandemic still isn’t OVER.

The impact of all of these deaths, plus the infrequently spoken of impact of long-term COVID disabling so many people, is still not well understood. It feels like it touches everything in the developed world in some way, but how people and organizations manage is up to them. Which… creates some concerns.

It is an unfortunate milestone.

Zoonosis remains in the news in other areas outside of the COVID pandemic. New outbreaks of avian flu are causing destruction of captive agricultural birds, with a confirmed domestic (US) case of transmission to humans; there is an unusual monkeypox outbreak being tracked; and porcine cytomegalovirus may have contributed to the death of the patient who received a pig’s heart, even though there should have been no way the unwilling, genetically engineered donor pig should have had the infection. (How many times have I read that there is no reason to worry about xeno-transplants, and yet…)

News: COVID-19 Zoonosis summary from WHO

While I’m relieved this is being studied and taken seriously, I remain uncomfortable with the idea that our COVID-19 vaccination programs could be undermined when humans infect industrially farmed animals, who then return the favor with new variants.

If you’re interested in an overview of the animal-to-human-transmission – zoonosis – situation with COVID-19, you should read the WHO summary that focuses on mink farms and related infections, below. (When last I visited, it was updated in early November 2020; additional cases have occurred since that time: you can see more recent case counts just by running a search for COVID mink. Ick.)

STOP WEARING ANIMALS, HUMANS! (Yes, I’d be supportive of humans discontinuing all industrial farming of animals. It will be great when swine flu, bird flu, etc., aren’t human pandemics brought about by these crowded and unsanitary industrial practices.)