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Welcome to Impact Factor, your weekly dose of commentary on a new medical study. I'm Dr F. Perry Wilson of the Yale School of Medicine.

By February 2024, 1.2 million people in the United States had died of COVID — a loss of life that exceeds what we saw in World War II, the so-called "Spanish" flu of 1918, the Civil War, and the entire AIDS epidemic.

But this story is not about the people who died. This story is about those who survived. And, given that virtually everyone currently living in the United States — with the exception of some of us born very recently — has been infected, this is a story about all of us and the lingering impact the virus has had on the health of the nation.

I'm not really talking about long COVID, which is a distinct syndrome however ambiguously defined. I've complained about the lack of a strong case definition before. No, I'm talking about how much healthcare COVID has caused us to consume, and how much it continues to cause us to consume. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.