500,000 deaths: Quantifying the tragedy

Owen Peterson, Opinion Editor

This week, the United States COVID-19-related death toll surpassed 500,000. This tragic milestone comes just over a year since the first case in the U.S. was reported.
Considering that it was only a month ago, on Jan. 19, that the 400,000th death was reported, it is much too easy to lose a grasp on just how many people have lost their lives over the course of the last year.

Humans are inherently bad at interpreting large numbers of this sort, especially when it comes to the loss of human life, so it can be beneficial to aid this comprehension by putting them into comparisons that help quantify the massive loss.

Presented here is a localized way of quantifying 500,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

500,000 is:

30.5 times the student population of UW Oshkosh

21.7 times the student population of UW-Milwaukee

11 times the student population of UW-Madison

3 times the total enrollment of the UW System

78 times the capacity of Kolf Sport Center’s main gym

51 times the capacity of Titan Stadium

28.8 times the capacity of the Fiserv Forum

12 times the capacity of American Family Field

6.14 times the capacity of Lambeau Field

41,666 deaths a month for a year

1,368 deaths a day for a year

57 deaths an hour for a year

1 death for every minute of a year

140 times the population of Omro

19.3 times the population of Neenah

7.5 times the population of Oshkosh

6.7 times the population of Appleton

2.5 times the population of the Fox Valley area

1.96 times the population of Madison

Enough caskets to cover the length of the Fox River 3.3 times

Enough caskets to span from Oshkosh to Washington, D.C.

Enough caskets to cover the farthest length of Wisconsin twice

Enough caskets to make 120.5 stacks as high as Mt. Everest

42 times the amount of mailmen in Wisconsin

2.4 times the amount of McDonald’s workers in the world

8.7 times the amount of public school teachers in Wisconsin