Death data – COVID 19

I believe that the global focus on finding solutions to COVID 19 will succeed. However, this singular focus on one virus has placed in stark relief the heinous lack of attention over many decades to much more potent killers that end the lives of millions of people each & every year. Thanks to Our World in Data (www.ourworldindata.org) which I consider to be one of the finest sources of academically rigorous data online, we can see that in 2017 (the most recent year that data is fully compiled) alone the following death toll occurred:

56 million people died in 2017 from around 32 causes, highlighting just a few, we can get an idea of the scale of the problem and how insignificant, in terms of data, COVID 19 actually is thus far: 

18m died from cardiovascular disease

10m from cancer 

1m from HIV/AIDS 

800k from suicide 

26k from terrorism 

10k from natural disasters

The global community has come together, rightly, to limit the spread and find a vaccine to COVID, an exceptionally contagious viral infection. But we the global community have stood by somehow accepting that it’s OK that 56m people a year die from c30 mostly treatable or curable conditions. As you can see from the data, those dying from non-medical events such as terrorism are few on a global scale and yet paradoxically dominate most of the media headlines. The world’s governments have promised $2trillion in recent months to fight COVID and yet those same governments previously claimed that it was simply unaffordable to fund solutions to cut the death of 56m people annually. Which leads me to the unintended consequence, the inability for most governments to keep up with the demands of their health systems by investing in capacity in the last 40 years directly caused the current necessity to prevent undue pressure from COVID patients on health care systems. Had that capacity been there, perhaps we could have reduced misery for the 56m and their families in 2017 and not just the 100,000 in 2020. #dontforgetthe56m    

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