American life expectancy declined, mostly due to COVID-19

For years I’ve used a certain phrase in presentations. It came up when I was describing modern demographics. I would explain how lifespans have increased in developed nations, and that more people will live longer, and then want on to explain what this meant for higher education. Then I’d pause and mention that this was likely to keep happening, unless something truly extraordinary happened. Like, say, a plague.

Now we’re in the second year of COVID-19. As I write this the pandemic has killed at least 4,109,303 people worldwide…