Covid-19 has killed at least 1 million people around the globe


Today, the world reached a new threshold of misery in the corona virus pandemic. At least one million people have now died of covert 19. That's according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Joining us now is NPR Global health correspondent Narrate Eisenman Henery High, So one million lives gone. I mean, it's incredible to think we're reaching this death toll in less than a year. Yeah, it's been just over nine months since the first death was reported in Wuhan, China, and just looking at these numbers. We're seeing that half of these deaths were just in four countries, right? Right, the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico and with the exception of India, these countries are not among the most populous in the world. But in the case of the United States, which has the highest number of deaths that more than 200 for 1000 in Brazil, with more than 140,000 deaths Both of their president's expressed a lot of skepticism about the threat from the virus. The responses were chaotic and deaths surged in July and August and started to come down a bit but are now rising again. Of these four countries also don't just rank highest on total deaths over the entirety of the pandemic in the past week, they've also had the highest number of new deaths. And are there any new hot spots emerging at this point? In Argentina. The daily death toll has been climbing for months and has now really swerved up. European countries like Spain that saw a lot of death a while back, are seeing another upswing. Now you mention India is a special case. Why is that? Yes, it's the world's second most populous nation. So for a country of that size, India's 95,000 deaths isn't relatively speaking. All that high, which is all the more surprising since India is seeing a huge amount of infection, But among people who are contracting the virus there, the share who are dying doesn't seem to be as high is in some other countries. Monica Gandhi is an infectious disease specialist at University of California, San Francisco, she says. One theory is that people in India tend to dress with thes flowing fabrics. So even though it's hard to social distance people could do one thing during all of this, which is pick up their cloth from there. You know outfit and put it over their mouth and nose. If it reduces the amount of hours you get into that you get less sick. I think it could be driving down the severity of infection. That's so interesting. Yeah. You get a lower dose of the virus. Maybe you're more likely to survive. Another theory. Maybe people in India have been more exposed to previous current viruses, which gives them some immunity. Well, speaking of immunity, I mean as more and more people have gotten infected, does that Offer any hope in terms of seeing a slowdown in new cases or even knew deaths, Monica Gandhi says. Quite possibly, this is what's called Herd immunity, of course, and Gandhi stresses it should not be pursued as a strategy, because if you're reaching herd immunity through widespread infections, as opposed to vaccinations Along the way, A lot of people will still die. Rather, she says. Her immunity is a potential helpful effect. We may notice in the coming months. Then again, it is going to get colder in the coming months, at least in the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches, So do you think that's going to make the pandemic worse? Well, one researcher Jeffrey Shaming of Columbia University, says evidence does suggest the Corona virus transmits better in cold climates. People spend more time indoors, the virus will have more opportunities. To move from person to person and be more neatly transmissible. That works against us.

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