(CTN News) – This month, three years ago, California reported the state’s first confirmed case of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the number of deaths caused by the epidemic has now reached an unimaginable level, with over 100,000 recorded across the state.
We may never learn the identity of the person who symbolizes the latest terrible milestone in an age defined by them, unlike the first-known victim, whose fatal encounter with the coronavirus was recorded in detail during the pandemic’s early days.
“The sadness of having so many people die weighs hard on all of us here at public health,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County.
Everyone in our county, state, nation, and planet feels its effects just as deeply, in my opinion.
To my knowledge, no one was expecting this cost. The fact that so many lives were lost was something no one hoped for, and it saddens us. This is a difficult time for our society.
Over 20 people die in California every day, even though many people have forgotten about COVID in this day of abundant vaccines and therapies.
The cumulative carnage caused by the virus is still difficult to understand, while its day-to-day impacts are, for many, becoming increasingly easy to ignore as the state enters what officials regard as a new phase of the epidemic.
‘Why are you bothering us with this pandemic?’ others may remark. In a recent webinar, Dr. Sylvie Briand, WHO’s head of epidemic and pandemic prevention and preparedness, stated, “We should be back to normal now.”
The death of a neighbor, according to some, is terrible. Moreover, my great-uncle passed away last month.
She questioned, “Who is right?” As the likelihood of being ill and the severity of any illness varies from person to person, “both viewpoints are acceptable.”
The highest number of deaths from COVID-19 has been documented in California, the most populated state in the United States.
According to The Times’s statistics, the next closest states are Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Putting this in perspective, the combined death toll in California is nearly the same as the population of a city like Hesperia in San Bernardino County or Vista in San Diego County.
The California Department of Public Health told The Times that “this milestone is a terrible reminder of the very real toll the epidemic has inflicted on Californians.” Our attention is still fixed on reducing the number of lives lost to COVID.
Around 35,000 fatalities have been attributed to COVID-19 in America’s most populated county, Los Angeles.
California’s Death Rate Comparison with Other States
For everyone, save those experiencing it firsthand, “just the immensity of that is incomprehensible,” Ferrer added. Please know that you and your loved ones remain in our thoughts and prayers.
But, when adjusted for population, California has the 11th lowest death rate of any state, at 255.3 per 100,000 people, according to statistics published by The Times.
The combined death rates in these 10 states are at least 416 per 100,000 people: Arizona, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, Michigan, and Florida.
After the epidemic, many people in California have returned to their pre-disaster lifestyles. There are no longer any reasons to wear a mask in public; stores are open, concerts and athletic events are standing room only, and masks are becoming an increasingly rare sight.
According to Dr. Erica Pan, the state epidemiologist of California, “with this latest spike this past winter, the numbers were much, much lower than in preceding surges,” specifically in terms of hospitalizations, ICU visits, and fatalities.
Lower COVID-19 Numbers in Latest Spike in California
Even still, state figures reveal that the virus has already claimed the lives of nearly 2,200 Californians this year, or an average of 22 fatalities per day over the most recent reporting period.
The highest per capita mortality rate for COVID has been “still much, much higher than a major flu season,” Pan stated during an online chat last week, even though this winter has been the mildest of the pandemic era.
As a result of broad immunity brought on by vaccinations, previous infection, or both, the virus’s destructive potential has been significantly dampened.
Experts and government authorities credit the availability of treatments and standard health precautions for reducing transmission, including as frequent hand washing, testing, and, in certain cases, masking.
Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Sickness and Death
Hospitalization and mortality rates from COVID have dropped drastically over the past year thanks to the efforts of Californians to be vaccinated and to adhere to preventative and treatment instructions and tools, according to the state’s public health agency.
As a result of widespread efforts, California now has one of the lowest COVID death rates among states of similar population size in the United States.
Yet, the risk is not uniform. Health experts report that those at most risks for severe COVID-19 sickness and death include the elderly, those with preexisting diseases, and the unvaccinated.
State health records from California reveal that in December, those who had not gotten at least their main immunization series were 2.4 times more likely to get COVID-19 than those who did. Those who did not get the recommended vaccinations were 2.6% more likely to end up in the hospital and 3% more likely to succumb to the disease.
According to the data we’ve been gathering, “we know from our information, who is at higher danger,” Ferrer added. We are responsible for raising awareness about those at a higher risk and working together to find ways to better safeguard them.
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