By: Robin Pyatt Bellamy, Mountaineer News Contributor
Posted: April 19, 2020 | 09:37PM EST
As of Sunday, April 19, 2020, the number of people who died from COVID-19 surpassed 40,000. There are three quarters of a million who have tested positive. This is an astounding number. Most of us can’t really comprehend forty thousand people. It’s the number of people who were in Central Park in New York in 1876 when it began raining. The crowd quickly dispersed inspiring a newspaper writer to pronounce it “as from a pestilence.”
Forty thousand people signed a petition in 2015 to have Kanye West banned from the PanAm Games. The games were held in Toronto, Canada and apparently that many people felt the committee should have chosen Drake, or at least someone Canadian. It’s the number of people who came to the US by direct flights from China after the president closed the border. The attendees for J Coles first Dreamville Festival in NC were 40,000 as well. None of those examples give a solid idea of how many people that is who have died so far.
To put it in our perspective, there are some West Virginia towns who might make good examples. Forty thousand people live in Bluefield, Moundsville, Bridgeport and Oak Hill combined. Its about the same as Parkersburg and Vienna’s total as well. Try imagining the entire population of Morgantown plus the entire population of Buckhannon. What if all of those people were just gone, taken by this new virus and its pandemic.
Some argue that the death toll of Americans was higher for the 1918 (H1N1) Flu. That is true, but it took two years to kill them. We’ve lost our first wave of 40k in just three months or so.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths could occur before we are done. Others forecast that by the end of August we will have lost over 85,000 if we continue the protocols of stay at home orders and physical distance. Unfortunately, many are not heeding that advice and a few places have actually reopened some recreation spots.
Please stay home (unless your job is deemed essential), stay safe and stay patient. We’re all in this together.
Robin Pyatt Bellamy was born in Point Pleasant, WV in 1961 and grew up in Ravenswood. She is a professional paranormal researcher, family history researcher, and author. Currently living in Toronto, Canada she is the mother of three adult children, grandma to two littles, and a modern day “southern belle”.