The coronavirus pandemic is sadly far from over. Some experts are now reporting that more than 410,000 people are projected to die from the virus in the United States by 2021. This stat comes from the University of Washington's health institute, which updated its projections on Friday. 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is estimating 410,451 deaths caused by COVID-19 by Jan. 1. The current approximate death toll stands at half that, 187,200, according to Johns Hopkins University. That means 224,000 more people would die from the virus in the next four months.

According to U.S. News, the institute is projecting a dramatic increase in our daily death count that could be as many as 3,000 deaths per day in December. Its previous projection of the national death toll was 317,697 deaths by Dec. 1. Part of that increase is due to the institute’s expected impact of declining pressure to wear masks and other seasonal illnesses such as the flu. 

The institute says those numbers could decrease by 30 percent if people chose to wear masks. 

"We extended our forecasts to January 1," the estimation update said. "We expect the daily death rate in the United States, because of seasonality and declining vigilance of the public, to reach nearly 3,000 a day in December. Cumulative deaths expected by January 1 are 410,000; This is 225,000 deaths from now until the end of the year."

If regulations on masks or other restrictions are rolled back, or if the government fails to take further action, the IHME warns that there could be even more deaths. 

"If a herd immunity strategy is pursued, meaning no further government intervention is taken from now to Jan 1st, the death toll could increase to 620,000," the update read.

As CNN reports, earlier this week, the CDC predicted 211,000 US deaths from COVID-19 by September 26. So far, over 6 million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus. 

If these numbers are as terrifying to you as they should be, please choose wisely to wear a mask.

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