Alan Burnham, Livermore

As I write this letter, COVID deaths in the U.S. are approaching 300,000 souls.

We also just commemorated the attack on Pearl Harbor, which ushered us into World War II. COVID deaths are averaging about 15,000 per week. Deaths lag diagnosis by approximately two weeks, so we can expect deaths to rise a little though the end of the year, and then hopefully decline during January, but an additional 100,000 deaths by the end of January is plausible. If not then, certainly by Valentine’s Day.

Consequently, before a significant number of people can be vaccinated, COVID deaths will pass 400,000 souls in about a year. For perspective, 407,000 military personnel died in WWII over four years. The sacrifice of the population in WWII was huge, with war bonds and rationing coupons.

By comparison, how big is the sacrifice of wearing a mask and social distancing? A minor sacrifice by everyone can save a major sacrifice by some.