A light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel? Continued vigilance is mandatory

February 22, 2021
Lynda Charters

The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association issued a sobering reality check as COVID-19 deaths in the United States passed the grim 500,000 milestone.

More than 500,000 Americans have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus in a year’s time, and it took only 3 months for the number of deaths to double to reach this point.

The American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA), American Nurses Association (ANA) issued this reality check.

Various vaccines are slowly becoming available across the country, but that does not mean that the populace is home free and can return to pre-COVID-19 life without restrictions.

The 3 associations are urging people to remain vigilant to stop further viral spread, especially in light of the emerging disease variants.

Wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands are effective measures and should continue for an as-yet-undetermined amount of time.

The sobering reality associated with the virus is that the US is seeing significant declines in life expectancies that affect all groups, according to the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).1

In the first half of 2020, The NVSS reported that life expectancy at birth for the entire U.S. population was 77.8 years, which represented a decline of 1.0 year from 2019.

The life expectancy at birth for males was 75.1 years in the first half of 2020, which was a decrease of 1.2 years from 2019, and for females, the life expectancy was 80.5 years, down by 0.9 year from 2019.

The decline was substantial for the non-Hispanic black population between the 2 time points, i.e., 2.7 years for the non-Hispanic black population, 1.9 years for the Hispanic population, and 0.8 year for the non-Hispanic white population.

“Though we are face-to-face with the grim toll that COVID-19 is taking on our lives and loved ones, there is also hope for the future as millions of people across the country are getting vaccinated and additional vaccines are on the way,” the organizations said in a joint release.

“We encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn. Vaccines are safe, effective, prevent illness and save lives, and are key to protecting you from COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.”

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Reference
1. Arisa E, Tejada-Vera B, Ahmad F. Provisional life expectancy estimates for January through June, 2020. Vital Statistics Rapid Release. National Vital Statistics System. Feb 2021; report 10.