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CNN had their daily death clock, the economy was shut down, and trillions were spent in dealing with a virus — so, what are we doing for another looming lethal threat? Since it won’t make anyone billions in money from patents, medical research, or fear-based sales, and since nobody can exploit it to achieve political power . . . we’ll probably do nothing. Nothing at all.
If this story is not a mirror reflecting our priorities back to us, it would be hard to imagine what is.
In San Francisco, a total of 300 people died from the Coronavirus. We aren’t diminishing those 300 lives, each one of them left someone behind whose life is forever changed because of it. But effective policies are driven by statistics, not anecdotes. As important as those 300 individual lives are, what claimed their lives needs to be understood in its wider context.
For example, overdose deaths are through the roof, killing more than twice as many people as COVID, and that number seems to be on the upswing. San Francisco suffered an epidemic in 2020 that was more deadly than COVID-19. Drug overdoses resulted in more than 700 deaths last year, while the communicable disease declared a global pandemic killed fewer than 300 — and 2021 looks to be even worse. This year’s preliminary tally of 252 accidental overdose deaths from January to April, which is the latest available through the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, suggests San Francisco is on track to surpass 2020 in overdose deaths, which was a record-breaking year itself — 181 people fatally overdosed over the same time period in 2021. – SFChronicle And the comparison might be even worse than it seems, since there is reporting like this Politico story that reminds us about the controversy in how the death count was sorted between the ‘with’ COVID or ‘from’ COVID. […]