Thinking about Death today, Part 2

I was recently reminded of this post I made last April 1st, nearly 1 year ago today. In it, I was contemplating the mind boggling death toll of Covid-19, and comparing them to the deaths from various wars. It was a shock then, and it is a shock now as I realize we have now had more deaths than I had predicted, even in my wildest dreams. Specifically, at that time I said:

The most current, much more conservative estimates (which include social distancing measures), still have the US exceeding 93k deaths. That’s nearly twice the US death total from the Vietnam war (56k), and almost 3 times the death total from the Korean War (36k).

It does not take much imagination to think we might exceed the US death total from World War I (116k).

And, of course, we do not need to imagine exceeding the US death total from World War I, since we have exceeded it many times over. And of course, I went on to say:

WWII was ~400k, so we may or may not get there, but it’s just….wow.

We are currently sitting at 510,000 deaths from Covid-19, just 6,000 shy of the US death total of WWI and WWII combined. Given that we are adding about 2,000+ deaths per day in the US, we will hit that total in just a few days.

We will exceed the death total of WWI and WWII combined. I just…can’t comprehend it. When I think of mental weight of either of those two wars, and how much they still drag on us mentally today, and then I think we are currently experience something that is bigger than the both of them combined! I don’t even know what to do with that.

For the first 2/3rds of this, I thought we were doing okay. We didn’t get Covid (yet!), for starters. We didn’t lose our jobs. There have been ups and downs, but we have made a lot of good memories as a family, and spent time that we wouldn’t have otherwise spent with each other.

However, in the past month or so I have really started to realize that, although things could be worse, things are definitely not okay. The kids are anxious and depressed in a way that I’ve never seen them be. I’m too close to my own mental state to fully understand how it is affecting me, but I think, based on the behavior changes I’ve seen in them, that it’s probably affecting me more than I realize too. Ollie’s coming up on his second quarantine birthday. The kids are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the last time they were at school, with their friends.

Think about the psychological effects from the Vietnam war, with 56,000 deaths. Imagine something TEN TIMES more impactful.

I think it’s safe to say that we are only at the beginning of the long, long shadow this is going to lay on this generation.

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