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Something clicked in my head and made me want to revisit this graph, to see how things are looking now by the summer of 2021:

Deaths have been higher than average and pretty much any of the last several years since the beginning of the pandemic through late May 2021.

It's encouraging that we've made a good bit of progress since the beginning of the year, almost to the point of average deaths, though I expect to see it tick back up a bit once the July figures are included.

It would appear that the vaccinations made a huge difference in the number of deaths, but it doesn't look like Covid-19 is quite done with us yet.
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Keep in mind that use of masks and social distancing has also reduced the incidents of other communicable diseases like the flu so the proportion of deaths due to COVID is higher than what it would otherwise have been.
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