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How coronavirus deaths compare with the flu, wars and terrorism | Editorial
Looking at the cold, hard numbers of the coronavirus can provide some context to what we’re living through.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, April 2, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, April 2, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. [ MARY ALTAFFER | AP ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Apr. 3, 2020
Updated Apr. 4, 2020

As we all shelter at home under the statewide order that took effect Friday, and time warps so that yesterday seems forever ago, numbers—hard, cold numbers—can provide some context to what we’re living through, what we can expect and help us judge what to do. On a typical day, 7,700 Americans die—from all causes, natural and violent. It was only 35 days ago that the first American coronavirus death was reported. But on Wednesday alone, more than 1,000 Americans succumbed to it. That followed Monday, the first time the coronavirus killed more than 500 Americans in one day. The virus has now killed more than 6,000 Americans, with most deaths coming in the past few days. Even with the lockdown measures in place across much of America, the Trump administration expects 100,000 to 240,000 Americans to die. The problem is that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing exponentially, so every day is a magnitude worse than the one before. The toughest days are still ahead, so brace for them and don’t let your guard down now. It’s been a tough two weeks, but stay with the program to keep us all safer.

35 days ago: First American coronavirus death reported.

The first death in the United States from coronavirus was in Washington state.
The first death in the United States from coronavirus was in Washington state. [ TED S. WARREN | AP ]

6,068: Americans have died from coronavirus as of Friday.

6,897: Projected deaths in Florida by Aug. 4 from the coronavirus, based on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.

Projected deaths in Florida based on numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.
Projected deaths in Florida based on numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model. [ Provided ]

2,977: died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and four hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001.

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn after hijacked planes crashed into them in New York.
In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn after hijacked planes crashed into them in New York. [ DIANE BONDAREFF | AP ]

2,501: Americans were killed in action on D-Day.

American GI's clamber into a landing craft known as a Higgins boat as they prepare to hit the beaches along France's Normandy coast in June 1944.
American GI's clamber into a landing craft known as a Higgins boat as they prepare to hit the beaches along France's Normandy coast in June 1944.

675,000: Americans died of the Spanish flu in 1918-19.

Children wear flu masks in Starke, Florida, during the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918.
Children wear flu masks in Starke, Florida, during the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918. [ Florida State Archives (1918) ]

658,000: The total number of Americans who have died in combat in all of the wars in U.S. history.

10 million: Americans have applied for jobless benefits in the past two weeks.

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity
Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity [ Twitter ]

163: Floridians have died from the coronavirus so far.

Healthcare workers test residents as dozens of vehicles lined up at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium Wednesday, March 25, 2020  in Tampa.
Healthcare workers test residents as dozens of vehicles lined up at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Raymond James Stadium Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

175: The peak deaths per day in Florida from the coronavirus — projected to occur on May 4-5.

Projected deaths per day at their peak in Florida based on numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.
Projected deaths per day at their peak in Florida based on numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model. [ Provided ]

2,217: Number of ICU beds available in Florida (of the total capacity of 6,040) as of Friday.

St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

2,555: Number of ICU beds needed in Florida on the anticipated peak of May 4 and 5.

449: Total number of ICU beds in Hillsborough County. As of Friday, 293 were occupied and 156 were available.

Tampa General Hospital released a video thanking medical staff working through the coronavirus pandemic.
Tampa General Hospital released a video thanking medical staff working through the coronavirus pandemic. [ Facebook ]

100,000 to 240,000: The Trump administration’s best-case estimate of how many Americans will die from the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump speaks, accompanied by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, left, and Vice President Mike Pence about the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump speaks, accompanied by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, left, and Vice President Mike Pence about the coronavirus. [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]

Under 100,000: Americans died in the Korean War, Vietnam War and the war in Afghanistan combined.

A photo from the war in Afghanistan.
A photo from the war in Afghanistan.

29,000 to 59,000: Americans have died from the flu so far this season. (It’s important to note that flu deaths, however, are not increasing exponentially as are deaths from the coronavirus.)

The administering of a flu shot.
The administering of a flu shot.

May 3: The projected date that will most stress Florida’s hospitals, which will hit peak capacity in terms of hospitalizations, ICU beds and ventilators, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.

A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Florida's need to use hospital resources peaking in early May.
A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Florida's need to use hospital resources peaking in early May. [ Provided ]

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens, and editorial writers Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news