A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday finds that life expectancy in the United States dropped by a staggering full year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths.
The life expectancy dropped from 78.8 years for the average American in 2019 to 77.8 years for the first half of 2020. Health officials expect the trend to worsen once numbers for the full year are available.
The CDC says the nation has not seen such a big decline since World War II.
People of color suffered the biggest impact in mortality changes. Black people lost nearly three years of life expectancy, falling from 74.7 years to 72 years, and Hispanics lost nearly two years from 81.8 years to 79.9 years.
Statistics show that Black and Hispanic people are contracting and dying from the virus at higher rates than other Americans, as the pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities that were already inherent in the U.S. health system.
Dr. Ryan Light is with the Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group. He said, "We expect that life expectancy going to be affected anytime we have a pandemic such as this. It has affected quality of life across-the-board for people. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t had increased stress in their life going through this pandemic."
He said exercise is the foundation of youth. Light said you can increase your chances of living longer by getting out of breath five times a week for 30 minutes. He said it can significantly help.
Dr. Light also said many people are gaining weight during the pandemic because they are not working out as much with many gyms having restrictions or being closed. He said people should try to eat right, workout and limit the amount of stress.