The United States has now recorded more than 1 million deaths from COVID-19, according to Reuters estimates, surpassing a once unimaginable milestone about two years after the first cases turned everyday life upside down and quickly changed it.

The 1 million mark is a stark reminder of the staggering grief and losses caused by the pandemic, even as the threat posed by the virus weakens in the minds of many people.

That’s about one death for every 327 Americans, or more than the entire population of San Francisco or Seattle.

By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, the virus had claimed 36 lives in the United States.

In the following months, the deadly virus spread like wildfire, finding fertile soil in densely populated urban areas such as New York and then reaching all corners of the country.

By June 2020, the death toll in the U.S. exceeded the total number of troops in World War I and would exceed U.S. military losses in World War II by January 2021, when more than 405,000 people were recorded.

The disease has left several places on Earth untouched: 6.7 million confirmed deaths worldwide.

The actual number, including those who died from COVID-19, as well as those killed in the outbreak, is likely approaching 15 million, the WHO said.

Some of the images associated with death from COVID are forever burned in the collective minds of Americans: refrigerators located near hospitals are crowded with the dead; intubated patients in closed intensive care units; exhausted doctors and nurses who fought every wave of the virus.

Millions of Americans are looking forward to rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID vaccine after it began spreading in late 2020.

By early 2021, the virus had already claimed a staggering 500,000 lives.

One day in January of that year, an average of more people died each day from COVID-19 than from the September 11, 2001 attacks.

COVID-19 hunted the elderly and people with poor health, but did not spare the healthy youth, killing more than 1,000 children.

Researchers estimate that 213,000 American children lost at least one parent or primary caregiver during the pandemic, which resulted in immeasurable emotional loss.

Having settled in large cities, the coronavirus has also devastated rural communities with limited access to health care.

The pandemic had a disproportionate impact on local communities and color communities.

This has hit hardest where people have lived in congregations such as prisons, and destroyed entire families.

This revealed inequality deeply ingrained in U.S. society, and caused a wave of change that affected most aspects of life in the United States.

As the threat of COVID-19 subsided after the Omicron wave last winter, many Americans dropped their masks and returned to offices in recent weeks.

Restaurants and bars are once again teeming with visitors, and public attention has shifted to inflation and economic problems.

But researchers are already working on another amp as the virus continues to mutate.

“It’s by no means over,” said Dr. Anthony Foci, chief U.S. infectious disease expert, at a recent event. “We are still experiencing a global pandemic.”

WRITING A PANDEMIC

Tracking the COVID-19 pandemic is not an exact science.

Reuters and other organizations that do the calculations reach 1 million deaths in the U.S. at various times.

The difference is due to how each organization counts deaths from COVID.

For example, Reuters includes both confirmed and probable deaths, if available.

The exact number of pandemics can never be known for sure.

Some people who died during the infection have never been tested and do not appear in the data.

Others, having COVID-19, could have died for another reason, such as cancer, but were still enrolled.

The CDC estimates that as of February 1, 2020, there have been 1.1 million extra deaths, mostly from COVID.

Excess mortality is an increase in the total number of deaths for any reason compared to previous years.

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