Covid-19 Deaths In Context and the Absurdity of Flu Comparisons
Every day I am barraged with Tweets by pandemic illiterates who still compare Covid-19 to the flu, car crashes, heart disease etc.
The same illiterates point to easily debunked articles that claim the number of deaths is overstated and the models are totally wrong.
The above chart shows just how foolish these pandemic non-believers are.
Here's a second chart of New York that does the same.
New York State Weekly Deaths
The charts and comments below are from the Atlantis article Not Like the Flu, Not Like Car Crashes, Not Like...
The Deaths in Context
Different time scales: We are still early in this pandemic. It has only been a few weeks since the first reported U.S. deaths. Comparing these deaths to, say, an entire year of deaths from car crashes or influenza is not meaningful.
A spike: Perhaps the most noticeable feature of both graphs is the Covid-19 spike — the rapid growth in deaths since the pandemic began. Car crashes, by contrast, show little variation week to week. And even compared to past flu seasons or pandemics, the rate of increase in Covid-19 deaths is markedly faster.The number of new deaths reported in the U.S. in the week beginning March 16 was 678 percent higher than the previous week.
In New York State, the number of new deaths grew thirty-six-fold the same week. By comparison, the worst one-week increase in new flu and pneumonia deaths during the 2017-18 flu season was 26 percent, and during the 1957-58 Asian flu was 48 percent. Although the growth in Covid-19 deaths is now slowing, the number of new deaths for the week ending on April 5 was still more than double that of the week before.
A leading cause of death in the United States: Several weeks ago, coronavirus deaths were few in comparison with other causes. But last week, reported U.S. Covid-19 deaths were just shy of the normal rate from heart disease, usually the leading cause of death. [This week, the Covid-19 death rate exceeded the death rate of heart disease].
The article notes that the number of people in New York who died with coronavirus last week was more than any other cause of death, as many to 76 percent more.
Once again the pandemic illiterates are out of touch. They accurately note that New York now adds "probables" to the "confirmed" Covid-19 bucket.
OK, the new method attributes a few deaths to the wrong category.
Unfortunately, there are many times that number of deaths not accurately attributed because of failure to test. Those deaths are attributed to the flu, pneumonia, or nothing at all.
The result is deaths have been dramatically understated.
The naysayers point to the badly overestimated initial death estimates. But those 2 million initial death totals presumed there would be no mitigation efforts.
What clearly has happened is the mitigation efforts worked far better than the models expected.
Died With Covid
Another argument making the rounds is people died with Covid, not because of it. This ridiculopus argument stems from Italy, nursing homes, etc, where people often had other diseases.
Here's the reality: If you die in a car crash and had diabetes, you died with diabetes. If you die of Covid and had diabetes, you died of Covid.
Please take another look at the above charts.
Deaths from heart disease and cancer have a known death rate that does not vary much. Hospitals can easily plan for that.
Hospitals can also plan on set rate of auto-related deaths.
Hospitals were not prepared for the onslaught of a dramatic, sudden rise in Covid-deaths even if these people would have "died anyway" which is the essence of the "died with" silliness.
Fools Rush In
Now that the curves are finally flattening, more on flattening in a subsequent article, the fools want everyone to return to work even though it should be crystal clear that the US is woefully behind on testing.
Three Key Questions
- What percentage of people have antibodies?
- What percentage of the population are still carriers?
- Do we track people known to have contact with carriers and if so how?
The fools don't know, nor do they care about such questions.
They just want to rush back to work in the ridiculous belief the worst is past.
The Most Important Question
What are the implications of making a poor decision regarding restarting America?
Once again, the fools armed with their ignorant logic, and beliefs about what's going on, just don't give a damn.
Yes, individuals have rights.
But contagious individuals who do not give a damn do not have a right to spread disease to everyone on the beach, gym, and grocery store.
Corporations Have Obligations
Corporations have obligations to their employees and customers. One of those obligations is to have a safe working environment and place to do business.
Corporations who do not give a damn if their employees spread fatal diseases will face a myriad of lawsuits.
Government bodies, especially governors, have obligations as well. They need to protect their citizens.
If and when there is sufficient testing states can make judgments and set proper regulations.
But where the heck are the tests Trump long ago promised?
Trump's Pitiful Judgement
Meanwhile, Trump's huge rush to judgment to restart America, despite massively overpromising and under-delivering tests is pitiful.
Governors are wise to resist Trump's pressure.