The virus has reached every corner of the United States, devastating dense cities and rural counties alike in waves that swept through one region and then another.
In New York City, more than 28,000 people have died from the virus, or about one in 295 people. In Los Angeles County, the number of victims is approximately one in 500 people. In Lamb County, Texas, where 13,000 people live spread over 1,000 square miles, the loss is one in 163 people.
The virus has swept through nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, spreading easily among vulnerable residents: they account for more than 163,000 deaths, about a third of the country’s total.
Deaths from viruses have also disproportionately affected Americans on racial grounds. Overall, the death rate for black Americans with Covid-19 has been nearly twice that of white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the death rate for Hispanics was 2.3 times that of white Americans. And for Native Americans, it was 2.4 times higher.
By Monday, around 1,900 Covid deaths were reported, on average, on most days, compared to more than 3,300 at the January peak. The slowdown was a relief, but scientists said the variants make it difficult to project the future of the pandemic, and historians cautioned against de-scaling the country’s losses.
“There will be a real push to say, ‘Look how well we’re doing,'” said Nancy Bristow, chair of the history department at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and author of “American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the influenza epidemic of 1918 ”. But he warned against inclinations now to “rewrite this story in another story of American triumph.”