Life expectancy had been steadily decreasing since it reached its record peak of 78.9 in 2014, in large part due to increased drug overdose deaths, unhealthy lifestyles and suicides in the country. The CDC noted a decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2018, contributing to a higher life expectancy. Other factors include a 2.2 percent decrease in cancer deaths, as well as a decrease in unintentional deaths for the year.
Suicide rates are also continuing to rise, with a 1.4 percent increase between 2017 and 2018 in the country. The U.S. has perennially held one of the highest rates of suicide in the world.
But the pandemic added hundreds of thousands of deaths to the total and pandemic-driven restrictions have drastically weighed on future expectations.
The trendline was going the wrong way even before the lockdowns.