Covid Killed Over 9,000 Americans In November, figures at odds with widespread beliefs the pandemic is over Robert Hart
Dec 2, 2022,12:36pm EST
Covid hospital admissions are trending upwards and at least 9,000 died with the virus in November, figures at odds with widespread beliefs the pandemic is over as increasing numbers of Americans return to their pre-pandemic lives and shun updated vaccines as immunity fades and the virus continues to evolve.
More than 9,000 Americans died with Covid in the U.S. in November.
AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
KEY FACTSBetween 300 and 400 Americans died with Covid every day throughout November, according to CDC data, a rate that has remained roughly constant since early October but took a sharp downturn in the last days of November.
While far lower than the daily peak figure of more than 3,200 Covid deaths during the delta wave in January 2021, the toll, which primarily affects the elderly, is significant but largely ignored or written off as an acceptable or inevitable loss by politicians, leaders and members of the public who are eager to declare the pandemic over and return to normal.
The number dying with Covid throughout November is similar to the number dying from causes linked to excessive alcohol use and around two to four times the rate people are dying from flu, firearms, motor traffic accidents and opioid overdose, with each week nearing the number (2,977) killed in the September 11 attacks.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people a day were admitted to hospital with Covid in November and hospitalizations have been trending upwards, according to CDC data, and though admissions are a very long way from the pandemic peak of more than 21,500 in January, they are also reasonably distant from lows of around 1,400 in April.
The public response to Covid in November is markedly different from similar periods at other times during the pandemic and polling suggests Americans are swiftly moving on from Covid, signposted by the near total abandonment of face masks and dismal uptake of updated booster shots—just 12% of the population over 5 and less than a third of adults 65 and over—released months ago.
Searches for terms including “Covid,” “coronavirus,” “Covid-19,” and “omicron,” which have broadly risen and fallen in line with cases and deaths, have also fallen and are at their lowest point in years and lower to earlier periods with comparable cases and deaths.
BIG NUMBER1,077,303. That’s how many Covid-19 deaths there have been in the U.S. since the pandemic began, according to CDC data. Around 250,000 Americans have died with Covid in 2022 so far. The death toll means it is very likely Covid will, for the third year running, be the third leading cause of death in the country. The true death toll is probably greater than official figures suggest. Excess deaths, which include those not counted in official tallies and those who may have died from causes related to the pandemic, are markedly higher and provide a more comprehensive account. There are also likely millions who have survived the virus and are now suffering from long Covid, a potentially debilitating condition of persistent or new symptoms after infection.
WHAT TO WATCH FORIt is possible a new Covid wave is on its way. Winter is approaching and the cold weather has historically aided the spread of respiratory infections like Covid by bringing people closer together and indoors. Protection from previous infection or vaccination also wanes over time and leaves the population more vulnerable, a fact that sits uncomfortably next to the diminishing enthusiasm for booster shots and the emergence of new omicron offshoots that are more capable of skirting our defenses and are resistant to antibody treatments.
CRUCIAL QUOTEDr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, has repeatedly urged Americans to get boosted but expressed optimism that any wave this winter will not be a repeat of the high levels last year when omicron first emerged. The country has “enough community protection that we’re not going to see a repeat of what we saw last year at this time,” Fauci said, at what is expected to be his last White House briefing before stepping down. This protection comes from a combination of highly effective vaccines and booster shots, large numbers of people with protection from prior infections and the rollout of new or improved treatments like antibody therapies and antiviral drugs like Paxlovid.
The number of people dying with Covid in November was similar to death rates from excessive alcohol consumption and around two to four times deaths from flu, firearms, motor traffic accidents and opioid overdoses.