While the 2 million figure is horrific, experts say the actual death toll is likely much higher. Only confirmed Covid-19 deaths are included in the list, which means people who die without a clear diagnosis may not be included.
With tests still inadequate in many countries around the world, hundreds of thousands more deaths can occur.
Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington in Seattle, said excess mortality analysis suggests that less than a fifth of coronavirus deaths may be recorded.
“We found that the total number of deaths is, on average, 20% higher than reported deaths,” he told CNN in an email, adding that the ratio varies significantly between countries.
“There are extreme cases like Ecuador, Peru or Russia where the total number of deaths is 300-500% higher than the reported deaths … but when we have data the average relationship is 20% higher.”
With the advent of vaccination programs around the world, there is a glimmer of hope – although it will likely be years before everyone is offered the shot.
In the meantime, the pandemic is getting worse. The death toll is rising faster than ever. While it took eight months for the world to record 1 million Covid-19 deaths, the second million came in less than four months. A number of countries, including the US, Germany, Sweden, Indonesia, Israel and Japan, recorded their deadliest days of the pandemic last week. The number of cases worldwide is rapidly approaching 100 million.
The US recorded by far the highest death toll in the world, followed by Brazil, India and Mexico. But the pandemic has hit every corner of the world, and few tiny, isolated nations have reported no deaths.
The virus has hit the elderly the hardest, but that doesn’t mean young people don’t die. Poorer people and people from ethnic minorities, immigrants and frontline workers are much more likely to die. But death did not spare celebrities and kings either.
There are now 2 million deaths. 2 million stories. 2 million chairs that are empty at the dining table. Here are the names of a tiny fraction of those who lost their lives: Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum was a 9 year old who loved unicorns. Thomas Harvey took care of the recovery of stroke patients. Adan and Mariah Gonzalez were the parents of 4 year old Raiden. José Ángel Medina Soto was a famous Mexican singer. Rita Haro, Jose “Chico” Haro, and Manuela “Nellie” Johnson were siblings who loved homemade tamales and telenovelas. Demetria Bannister was an elementary school teacher who loved music. Fabrizio Soccorsi was Pope Francis’ personal doctor. Evelyn Ochoa-Celano left retirement as a nurse to come back and fight on the front lines of the pandemic. Patrick Ellis was a longtime DC radio host. AshLee DeMarinis was a middle school teacher. Jean-Jacques Razafindranazy was an emergency doctor respected by his team. Daniel Moran died just days after losing his father, Miguel Moran. Erika Becerra died three weeks after giving birth to a healthy boy. Conrad Buchanan loved to dance with his daughter. Soumitra Chatterjee was an Indian acting legend. Dr. Rebecca Shadowen was the “glue of her family”. Sergio Humberto and Dolores Padilla Hernandez were siblings. Thomas Slade, a Mississippi teacher, sometimes used a hammer in class. Keith and Gwendolyn Robinson were best friends, married for 35 years. Xavier Harris was 4 years old and died the day after Christmas. Carla Sacchi died after her husband took her off the street. Rev. Vickey Gibbs had a passion for social justice and the ability to prepare colorful, beautiful breakfasts. Fatemeh Rahbar was a newly elected member of the Iranian parliament. Guy Tetro played bass in a rock band. Tracy Larsen and her father, Burt Porter, died minutes apart. Kiyotaka Suetake, known as Shobushi, was a sumo wrestler. Aldemar “Al” Rengifo Jr. was a 20 year veteran of a South Florida sheriff’s department. Dr. Mohammed Al-Youssef was a doctor in Syria. Ken Shimura was a famous Japanese comedian. Samantha Diaz left three children. Flavio Ramos’ family found out that his body was missing in a hospital overcrowded by the virus. Eve Branson was the mother of Richard Branson, the billionaire of the Virgin Group. Noe Martinez Domingues once turned his kids into a go-kart out of an old lawnmower. Zororo Makamba was a well-known Zimbabwean journalist. Patricia Dowd loved to travel. Herman Cain was a former Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Skylar Herbert was the 5 year old daughter of two first aiders. Belly Mujinga was a ticket writer who was spat at while she was working. Cynthia Alcantara Barker was the Mayor of Hertsmere, England. Kenzo Takada was a designer famous for starting the Kenzo fashion house. SP Balasubrahmanyam was one of the most famous film singers in India. Ruben Burks campaigned for the work of women and colored people in the labor movement for more than 60 years. Donna Mitchell organized potlucks in her neighborhood and even became a surrogate grandmother for the kids next door. Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma was a Spanish princess and a distant cousin of King Felipe VI. Iris Meda left retirement to teach nursing students. Mai Bunjes has worked voluntarily for decades. Margaret Ann Spangler was a strong, smart, wayward, funny, caring woman who loved her family very much. Adeline Fagan was a sophomore at OBGYN. Maria Mercader was a producer on CBS News. Dr. Susan Moore loved to practice medicine. Paul Blackwell and Rose Mary Blackwell were both teachers and were married for 30 years. Jay-Natalie La Santa was the little daughter of a New York firefighter. Roy Horn was halfway through a popular Las Vegas animal and magic act. Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza was a doctor who cared for some of the sickest Covid-19 patients in Houston. Luke Letlow was an elected Congressman. Zelene Blancar, a first grade teacher, taught her students to be kind. Chad Dorrill was a student and retired high school basketball player. Li Wenliang was a doctor widely regarded as a hero in China for blowing the whistle when the coronavirus first broke out.
Additional artwork by Sarah-Grace Mankarious of CNN.