The COVID-19 pandemic — you know, the one right-wingers tried to claim didn’t exist, was nothing worse than the flu, and could be treated with horse paste — caused the largest drop in American life expectancy since WWII. Did anyone not take the casualties in WWII seriously?
Of the 29 countries studied by researchers from the University of Oxford, just Denmark and Norway did not see a drop in life expectancy in 2020, according to demographic data.
The U.S. recorded the biggest losses in both men and women—2.2 years and 1.65 years compared to 2019 levels, respectively—something Ridhi Kashyap, co-lead author of the study, said could be partly explained by the “notable increase in” deaths among working aged people due to Covid-19.
USA! USA! Number ONE! We got the biggest numbers. Oh, wait, is this like golf, where the lowest score wins? Whoops.
So what went wrong, America?
The countries that successfully avoided drops in life expectancy (which partly included Finland, which staved off a decline in women only) implemented “early non-pharmaceutical interventions” and had strong healthcare systems. The researchers said these factors likely contributed towards the countries’ successes. The U.S. suffering the biggest drop in life expectancy is unsurprising. It has suffered more Covid-19 deaths than any other country, a burden that has, as many health issues, disproportionately fallen on people of color. Earlier studies have shown the U.S. to have experienced a far worse drop in life expectancy than other high income nations like the U.K. and Sweden. Despite an abundant vaccine supply, every adult (and many children) having been eligible for months and having a head start over much of the world, many in the U.S. remain unvaccinated and the country is facing a huge surge of hospitalizations and deaths.
To make it short, we’re world leaders in capitalism, racism, and stupidity. Yay! Number one again! If only we were playing football rather than scoring deaths.