How 1 million covid deaths compares to other tragedies in U.S. history

The pandemic’s death toll in the United States will surpass 1 million people in the coming days. Conveying the meaning or the magnitude of this number is impossible. But 1 million deaths is the benchmark of an unprecedented American tragedy.

Consider this comparison: The population of D.C. is about 670,000 people. Try to imagine life without every person, in every building, on every street, in the nation’s capital. And then imagine another 330,000 people are gone.

To attempt to put the 1 million deaths in context, we plotted its damage over more than two years and compared the continuing death toll with the tolls from previous catastrophes in our history.

As we pass this grim milestone, it’s important to pause and consider what we’ve been through. And to remind ourselves that behind each number was a person — and that each of these people was someone’s friend, someone’s love, someone’s family.

About this story

Sources: Washington Post reporting (data on covid deaths); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1918 influenza pandemic death toll and deaths from stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia in 2020); Watson Institute at Brown University Costs of War project (death toll on post-9/11 wars); Defense Department (American death tolls in Vietnam and Korea). Civil War death toll from J. David Hacker, Binghamton University, and James McPherson, Princeton University. Numbers higher than 100 are rounded.

Credits: Design editing by Chris Rukan

Source: WP