New virus, old enemy – The US military has seen barely any incidence of COVID-19. Simple hygiene and social distancing is the winning strategy.

A NY Times photo essay by Dave Phillips and Ariana Drehsler.

Out of 1.3 million active-duty troops, only 777 have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and nine died. Compare that with Nassau County in New York: With a similar sized population, albeit older and less fit, 2,200 people have died of COVID-19.

Disease is a familiar enemy that the military long ago learned to fight.

During the Civil War, disease claimed twice as many Union soldiers as combat did. In World War I, nearly as many men died of influenza as died in the trenches….

“It’s not that hard – it’s discipline,” said Nelson Santos, a drill instructor. “Just follow instructions, attention to detail. Wash your hands, wear a mask. Don’t go anywhere you don’t need to.”

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner