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It is as if 10 of the largest commercial airplanes in the world fell from the sky, every day for an entire year.

The official worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic exceeded two million overnight, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Workers with full protective equipment lower a coffin into a grave in an area of ​​the San Rafael cemetery reserved for people who died from COVID-19, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. (AP)

While the two million figure is terrifying, experts say the true death toll is likely much higher.

Only confirmed deaths from COVID-19 are included in the count, which means that people who die without a firm diagnosis may not be included.

With testing still inadequate in many countries around the world, there could be hundreds of thousands of additional deaths.

Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, said an analysis of excess mortality suggests that up to a fifth of coronavirus deaths may not be recorded.

Students wearing masks attend classes when schools reopen after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic in Ahmedabad, India. (AP)
Nursing home residents line up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Harlem Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in Harlem, New York. The launch of the vaccine in the United States so far has failed to slow the spread of the outbreak. (AP)

“We have found that, on average, total deaths are 20 percent higher than reported deaths,” he told CNN in an email, adding that the proportion varies substantially between different countries.

“There are extreme cases like Ecuador, Peru or Russia where the total of deaths is between 300 and 500 percent higher than the reported deaths … but where we have data, the average ratio is 20 percent higher.”

As vaccination programs begin to roll out around the world, there is a glimmer of hope, although it will likely take everyone years to deliver the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the pandemic is getting worse.

Freshly dug and snow-covered graves are seen at the Butovskoye Cemetery, which serves as one of the cemeteries for those who died from the coronavirus, in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 31. Russian authorities have reported more than 3 million confirmed coronavirus infections, the fourth the highest number of cases in the world and more than 55,000 deaths, but these figures are believed to be a major understatement of the actual numbers. (AP)
The death toll is increasing faster than ever. While it took the world eight months to record one million deaths from COVID-19, the second million arrived in less than four months.
Several countries, including the U.S, Germany, Sweden, Indonesia, Israel and Japan recorded the deadliest days of the pandemic in the last week.

The number of cases globally is rapidly approaching 100 million.

The United States has by far the highest total death toll in the world, followed by Brazil, India and Mexico.

But the pandemic has reached all corners of the world, and only a few small and isolated nations have reported no deaths.

An empty street in the heart of Westminster in London. With a surge in COVID-19 cases driven in part by a more infectious variant of the virus, British leaders have reimposed nationwide lockdown measures across England until at least mid-February. (Getty)
People visit the grave of relatives at the Pondok Rangon Public Cemetery, reserved for alleged victims of COVID-19 on December 24, 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesia is still struggling to contain thousands of new daily coronavirus cases amid a relaxation of the rules to allow economic activity to resume as its economy is devastated by the virus. (Getty)

The virus has hit the elderly hardest, but that doesn’t mean the young aren’t dying.

The poorest people and members of ethnic minorities, immigrants and front-line workers are dying at much higher rates. But death hasn’t saved celebrities or royalty, either.

Now there are two million deaths. Two million stories. Two million chairs left empty at the dining room table. Here are the names of a small fraction of those who have lost their lives:

Evelyn Ochoa-Celano She left her retirement as a nurse to come back and fight in the face of the pandemic.
Erika becerra died three weeks after giving birth to a healthy baby.
Thomas slade, a Mississippi teacher, sometimes used a gavel in class.
Xavier Harris He was a four-year-old boy who died the day after Christmas.
Carla sacchi died after her husband serenaded her on the street.
Rev. Vickey Gibbs He had a passion for social justice and the ability to prepare colorful and beautiful breakfasts.
Flavio ramosThe family discovered that his body had disappeared in a hospital invaded by the virus.
Eve branson She was the mother of Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of the Virgin Group.
Herman Cain was a former Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.
Skylar herbert She was the five-year-old daughter of two lifeguards.
Mujinga Belly She was a female ticket office worker who was spat on while she was working.
Kenzo takada was a famous designer for creating the Kenzo fashion house.
Ruben burks spent more than 60 years championing the work of women and people of color in the union movement.
Donna mitchell she organized meals in her neighborhood and even became a surrogate grandmother to the children next door.
Maria Teresa de Borbón-Parma was a Spanish princess and distant cousin of King Felipe VI.
Iris Meda left retirement to teach nursing students.
Margaret Ann Spangler She was a strong, intelligent, stubborn, fun and loving woman who loved her family fiercely.
Roy horn It was half of a popular Las Vegas animal and magic act.
White Green, a first grade teacher, taught her students to be kind.

Chad Dorrill was a college student and former high school basketball player.

Li Wenliang was a doctor widely regarded as a hero in China for blowing the whistle on the initial coronavirus outbreak.

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