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COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death in Australia, beating cancer and heart disease. In the two and a half years since the start of the pandemic, there have been nearly 8400 deaths -- more than 6000 this year alone. Of the deaths, about 90% of people died from COVID-19 as opposed to with the virus. In the first two months of 2022, there was a 20% increase in fatalities compared to the historical average and Australia now has one of the highest numbers of infections per capita in the world.

This is astounding for a virus that didn’t exist three years ago.

But not all deaths are equal: the virus is claiming the lives of Australia’s marginalised -- the elderly, those born overseas, living in disadvantaged regions, and living with disabilities make up the bulk of deaths. Perhaps this is why Australia's appetite for COVID-19 deaths seems to have grown.