Even with the best possible map selection, IMO a best practice should be to use a map accompanied by a text/math description of the data. That can go a long way in terms of clarifying and educating.
This sentence struck me as a converse problem:
It can easily connotate danger, and death, which is still statistically extremely rare for coronavirus.
Atm, both contracting and dying from coronavirus is extremely rare. However, this could be construed that death after contracting coronavirus is extremely rare, which it is not the case. Also, just choosing the word “still” over “currently”, or “to date” suggests that this rarity will remain constant, and it may not.
Basically, every effort should be made to reflect the situation as we understand it, and that’s usually best accomplished with multiple methods of presentation accompanying each other.