Many countries have been pummeled by the coronavirus, but few have fared as poorly as the U.S. Its death rate surpassed that of any other large, wealthy nation—especially during the recent Omicron surge…theatlantic.com, How Did This Many Deaths Become Normal, Ed Yong, 2022
Every American who died of COVID left an average of nine close relatives bereaved. Roughly 9 million people—3 percent of the population—now have a permanent hole in their world that was once filled by a parent, child, sibling, spouse, or grandparent. An estimated 149,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver.
Many aspects of the pandemic work against a social reckoning. The threat—a virus—is invisible, and the damage it inflicts is hidden from public view. With no lapping floodwaters or smoking buildings, the tragedy becomes contestable to a degree that a natural disaster or terrorist attack cannot be.