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What about the Coronavirus excess death rate?

What about the Coronavirus excess death rate?

A question for epidemiologists

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Epidemiologists deal with dry facts and figures, but the subject matter of those facts and figures can be very dramatic: illness and death, and how best to go about minimizing the former and delaying the latter. Usually we don’t pay all that much attention to epidemiologists unless we have a particular interest in the subject.

But during this pandemic epidemiologists have been constantly in the news, and anyone with an “epidemiologist” before or after his or her name is the new authority. We hang on their every word as though our lives depended on it – and perhaps they do. Governments set policy based on their recommendations and those policies are having extreme effects on our lives.

It is definitely true that epidemiologists have expertise in this arena that most of us lack, and that we can learn things from them. They are good at describing something ex post facto, often with estimates derived from statistics that are far from exact. It often takes years to understand what has happened in an epidemic or pandemic. And that’s understandable.

But their forecasts often disagree with each other. Well, someone’s probably correct, but who is it? The worst doomsayer? The sanguine optimist? The in-betweens?

And I have a question for them all. I know we are missing some important numbers for COVID-19 that can’t be ascertained just yet. For example, to know the all-important case fatality rate of this disease, we have to know the numbers of people infected. As we test more and more of the population we learn more about that, but not nearly as much as we need to know. And unless we test the entire population, including those with no symptoms, and do it at intervals, we can’t know for sure.

But we do know another important number: how many people have died so far of COVID-19. Or do we? Is everyone who dies of respiratory disease being tested for the presence of the virus? And if they are all being tested, do we know that those with a positive COVID-19 test actually died from the virus and not from some other condition they might have? That sort of thing has been described as taking place in Italy, for example:

…Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities.

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.

This does not mean that Covid-19 did not contribute to a patient’s death, rather it demonstrates that Italy’s fatality toll has surged as a large proportion of patients have underlying health conditions.

I have no idea if other doctors in Italy would agree with that assessment or not. But to understand the meaning of all the deaths in Italy, it could be helpful to know one figure that I’ve never seen discussed: the number of excess deaths; that is, the number over and above what is usual this time of year in Italy, in the same locations where most of the dying is taking place.

I have no doubt the number of deaths there now is higher than usual and that there are excess deaths, perhaps a huge number, particularly in certain regions of the north where the virus has been concentrated. But how much higher? Italy ordinarily has a particularly high rate of death from the flu, for example, which might make the “excess death” figure especially important to know. Are significant numbers of the deaths we’re seeing in Italy deaths that would be taking place anyway from the flu or other illnesses we’re accustomed to and which sometimes cause the death of elderly people who are already ill? And if so, how many?

One of the huge problems with COVID-19 is that so far it seems to have caused localized outbreaks that burden a health system and in particular hospital ICU resources. That in turn results in some people dying who might otherwise be saved but for the sudden influx. That is particularly frightening, and many of the strategies being brought to bear in the US are a result of trying to prevent such a calamity. But in order to know how much we need to do and what we can expect in the worst-case scenario, wouldn’t figures for excess deaths in Italy be helpful?

But so far I haven’t found anything written for the public discussing that issue. I realize that, since the disease only began a few months ago, we don’t have figures for total excess deaths. But shouldn’t we have some preliminary figures to compare to average figures per day or per week or per month during a bad flu season and during a good flu season in the localities involved?

I’m neither a scientist nor an epidemiologist. But those are my questions.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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I can answer most of that for you. We will NEVER know the exact numbers any more than we do for the annual flu. We have no way of knowing just how many people had the disease before medical people became aware of the existence of the disease or the many thousands who have had the disease and either not been tested at all or had such a mild case that they may not have even known they were ill. There simply is no way to determine that and that is true of the flu also. We extrapolate the number of annual cases of the flu from existing data using various algorithms and a 100 year history of data. Those don’t exist for Covid-19

As far as your other main question, the numbers of deaths, at least in the USA, credited to Covid-19 include only those who have actually tested positive for Covid-19. There is no post death testing being done, nor are these cases autopsied. Those who have died this winter from similar symptoms before we were testing or who have not tested positive are chalked up as part of the annual flu deaths.

    GWB in reply to Granny. | March 25, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    We will NEVER know the exact numbers any more than we do for the annual flu.
    And… you missed the whole point of the post. Excess deaths is what’s being asked about. You don’t have to know exact causes to get this number. You only have to have an aggregate number for “normal” years, and the numbers for this year. Barring other surges, those excess deaths can likely be attributed to the disease or measures associated with it (such as ICUs being full).

They don’t care. They don’t WANT accurate numbers, because those will demonstrate conclusively just how badly the world has overreacted.

The ‘experts’ somberly predicting multiple millions of Americans dead will under no circumstances admit that they were wrong.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Olinser. | March 24, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Hear Hear!

    Well maybe when they’re strapped into the chair……..

    tom_swift in reply to Olinser. | March 24, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    because those will demonstrate conclusively just how badly the world has overreacted.


    An identifiable disease which doesn’t spread or become endemic could tell us that it isn’t really such a big deal, and any reaction is an overreaction . . .

    . . . or it could be read as evidence that the reaction was effective, and that next time we need more of it to limit the spread even further.

      MarkSmith in reply to tom_swift. | March 24, 2020 at 11:33 pm

      What appears to be obvious is it does spread faster than the common flu and requires more hospitalization. I think that the pause will give things a chance to prevent a cluster outbreak like Italy and give us some time. At the end of the day, we might have the same numbers as a good year with the flu.

      Getting an antidote like quinine will give us the major break we need. I believe Trump will win this by Easter except for those cluster area and if quinine helps with treatment it will stop the panic.

      It is worst than the flu because of the cluster spreading with a big impact on the older community.

        elle in reply to MarkSmith. | March 25, 2020 at 6:32 am

        You make a good point but you need to consider that up until recently, if you presented with flu symptoms, few were diagnosed as having COVID-19 as the regular flu tests don’t detect it.

        So doing simple math, as the testing goes up, the death rate (number of cases per deaths) goes down.

        It is an important consideration and cannot be overlooked. When discussing the stats.

          MarkSmith in reply to elle. | March 25, 2020 at 9:18 am

          I have not seen any indication that it was outside of china before December. Watching the maps, we can see how it spreads. I don’t think we can just pass it off as another sickness. Flu is pretty serious, almost lost my brother to it and an 8 year old girl died from it in Feb. Common sense would tell you to try and contain it long enough to get some controls on it and then go back to living. If Trump makes it to Easter and releases the reins, I think he will have succeed. I am not happy with shelter in place BS,

          Impact is awful for those with elder family members. If they can see say their Alzheimer father for two weeks, the father could forget who they are.

          Now that we have time to breath, we can selective thing how to manage the containment and a treatment plan could help this out. We did not have this a week ago.

          Little less drama and a little more common sense will help us through this.

          GWB in reply to elle. | March 25, 2020 at 12:52 pm

          @ MarkSMith:
          The Influenza-like illness (ILI) numbers show it probably was here before the end of December. On top of anecdotal stories of a strong flu-like disease running about.

      MattMusson in reply to tom_swift. | March 25, 2020 at 6:44 am

      Until we start seeing pictures of people in body bags, this will seem like an over-reaction.

Damn good question, one I’ve asked elsewhere.

I’m betting the death rate in Italy at the end of the year is not much higher than the past year.

While statistics are useful in arriving at informed decisions concerning immediate and future actions; what has happened in the case of CORVID-19 is that all of the current actions being taken, as well as all future actions, are based upon future projections based almost exclusively on worst case fantasies. Most of which are not supported by the history of similar diseases.

We do not burn down our houses if a small termite infestation is detected. We do not nuke our cities if a riot breaks out. We do not execute people for stealing a loaf of bread. So, what we have here is an outbreak of a novel disease, which closely akin to various strains of influenza, which appeared on the scene approximately 3 months ago. During this time, we have a about 700 deaths from COVID, 1/30th the number of deaths from seasonal flu in 2019-2020. Yet, we have not shut down the nation and our economy over annual flu deaths, even when the death rate is 2-3 times what it is today. So, one has to go beyond the numbers and look at WHY our leaders are doing what they are doing, in this case. It is obviously not based upon saving lives, or we would have seen the same actions in several similar outbreaks in the past as well as the annual death rate from influenza. So, it seems that a reset might be in order, including the revocation of restrictions which destroy businesses and the the economy, while we gather actual figures illustrating exactly what we are dealing with.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Mac45. | March 24, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    HEAR HEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GWB in reply to Mac45. | March 25, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    which appeared on the scene approximately 3 months ago
    Actually, it appeared more than 4 months ago, and likely was closer to 5. China has tried to claim Patient 0 in December, but it’s unlikely they were really Patient 0.

    even when the death rate is 2-3 times what it is today
    No, the death rate at this point – based solely on known cases – is higher than the annual flu. The total number is currently much lower than the seasonal flu. (Death rate would be calculated against known or estimated numbers of infections, and that is currently still lower than the flu.)

    Otherwise an excellent comment.

      Mac45 in reply to GWB. | March 25, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      “which appeared on the scene approximately 3 months ago
      Actually, it appeared more than 4 months ago, and likely was closer to 5. China has tried to claim Patient 0 in December, but it’s unlikely they were really Patient 0.

      even when the death rate is 2-3 times what it is today
      No, the death rate at this point – based solely on known cases – is higher than the annual flu. The total number is currently much lower than the seasonal flu. (Death rate would be calculated against known or estimated numbers of infections, and that is currently still lower than the flu.)

      Otherwise an excellent comment.”

      All of our numbers begin with the official announcement of the identification of the Wuhan Coronavirus, in December. While it possible, even likely, that the virus was in the general population 1-2 months earlier, we have NO information as to how many cases existed, their severity or a fatality rate for the period before December.

      You misunderstood my comment referencing 2-3 times higher. This was in reference to the season flu rate. The fatality rate for seasonal flu in the 2018-2019 flu season was 2.5-3 times as high as it has been for the current 2019-2020 flu season. And, in neither year did we shut down the country or its economy as we have for the COVID-189 virus. So, the question becomes, what justifies the draconian measures taken for Covid? It can not be the number of fatalities, as there have been 20,000 fatalities from seasonal flu in the US this flu season and 60,000 last season and nothing significant was done to stop the spread of the influenza viruses.

Let me just drop this in:

There were 3,700 people on the Diamond Princess. Not only were all those people exposed to the disease, but the population was heavily weighted to retirees.

Ten cases had broken out on the ship and the Japanese authorities forced it into quarantine. By the time quarantine ended, the out-break on the ship lasted approximately one-month.

The ship itself was a perfect petri-dish for this type of infection. And an enclosed, dark, humid environment, crowded with people and, in general, maintained with poor hygienic practices

The conditions were so favorable for the virus, it took 17 days after the quarantine ended for the surface contaminant virus to die. OTOH, in a normal, non-host environment, it takes anywhere from a few hours to just a few days for the virus to die.

In the end 705 of the 3,700 passengers and crew acquired COVID-19 infections.

Six people died of COVID-19. That was 0.16% of the population and 0.86% of the infected. That falls withing normal range for the passenger ship’s predominant age-cohort (elderly 60+) for Influenza Type A according to the Department of Health and Human Services that studied CFR rates in 2013 through a 150-paper Meta Analysis.

    alaskabob in reply to MosesZD. | March 24, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Best single study out there. A closed group.

    BKC in reply to MosesZD. | March 25, 2020 at 9:17 am

    How many times has the flu killed 6 people from one cruise? (That’s a serious question)

    If you were going on a cruise and knew that 6 of you would die out of 3700, would you still go on it?

    New Neo – Willis E. at Wattsupwiththat has some plots of covid19 deaths/population versus flu deaths/population, which is similar to what you are looking for.

      Mac45 in reply to BKC. | March 25, 2020 at 11:43 am

      6 people die onboard ship out of a population of 3700 people. Now, we have to take into account that these people were quarantined on a ship, with minimal medical facilities. We do not quarantine influenza suffers on ships for weeks or even days. They are usually quickly removed and transferred to a shore based medical facility which has much better treatment facilities. So, then the question becomes, how many people die, while on a cruise, from a disease [influenza] for which prophylactic [vaccines] and antiviral treatment protocols exist and for which they endured shipboard quarantine, with minimal medical treatment and facilities, for several days or weeks after being diagnosed?

All tests have error rates — false passes and false fails. Unless you know those error rates and the conditions where they apply, test data can be very misleading even if you tested 100% of the population. Test passes and fails are used to estimate the probability that the subject has or does not have the virus. There is no certainty even if the error rates are very small.

Without a lot of detailed information about the test itself, test results are meaningless except for use in a con game.

Enough government harm already.

healthguyfsu | March 24, 2020 at 9:33 pm

Epidemiologists are as good at predicting the future as Economists. Use both capital E’s with a grain of salt.

The disease is covid 19
This years cold/ flu
The epidemic is TDS and will not be cured until a Democrat graces the White House.
The restrictions will continue until the epidemic is over ,the disease be damned.

Nevada governor, in a brilliant display of TDS that he no doubt hopes will propel him to national prominence, has prohibited all doctors from using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on COVID 19 after president Trump suggested it might be a worthwhile medicine to try. The FDA approved the use on Friday, 3 days prior to the governor’s EO.

Heart attack, stroke, diabetic episodes and stones and such… and the usual mental illness fliers. That’s your typical ER routine. I think they get passed through to specialists pretty quick.

Major trauma would be down. Nobody is doing anything to end up in the ER for trauma.

I have the answer to all this: it was a stroke of genius.


Bring back boehner to head a corona virus task force. I guarantee: the disease will get so bored, it’ll die.

The empirical evidence does not justify shutting down the whole economy of five (now 8) states who acted unilaterally to shut down their schools, enforce house arrests and shut down businesses before Trump had a chance to issue federal edicts. California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Nevada’s governors decided to commit economic suicide. The question I ask is why would they do such an irrational act when the numbers never justified such? The reason is that they are all Democrat run states facing imminent bankruptcy in about 1 to 2 years because of underfunded pension funds. Recognizing the potential to exploit a health crisis, they unilaterally self destructed their economies to now extort all the other states for a $2 trillion bailout. It is never good policy to capitulate to extortionists. But the coronavirus ideology has infected nearly everyone because no one wants to be shamed that they would not stand 10 feet away from others, that they refused to panic shop for food and essentials and deny others essentials needed for living everyday, and would not ration toilet paper, or accept totalitarian house arrests or business shut downs. Right now even conservatives have turned into sheep who have become true believers of the coronavirus ideology. Look, everyone probably has someone in their family who is going to lose their job permanently over this and the bail out money won’t be going to medical care to save elderly sick persons but will be going to some bureaucrat to fund their underfunded pension. The tradeoff will harm conservatives most because they probably have fewer protected government jobs. There needs to be a counter tax revolt crisis to stop all this. But where are all the people to fight back?

    Vancomycin in reply to Wayne. | March 25, 2020 at 12:55 am

    You’re leaving out Wisconsin.

    Tony Evers (spit) closed the state starting tomorrow (! WTF)

    elle in reply to Wayne. | March 25, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Well said. My very cynical, but sadly accurate, point of view is that this crisis will end when all of the money has been doled out,

    McGehee in reply to Wayne. | March 25, 2020 at 7:32 am

    My local paper’s running an online poll: “Should Gov. Kemp shut down Georgia?”

    Damn thing is running four-to-one in favor. SMH.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Wayne. | March 25, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Hear Hear!

    RE: “It is never good policy to capitulate to extortionists.”

What we are seeing is what happens when the msm has an agenda. They are in bed with the Dems who want Trump out at ANY cost. Take the lying Chinese and the corrupt WHO president, throw in the lying fake news crowd along with the unethical Dems and you have a pandemic. If the msm was truthful and had one ounce of integrity they would have looked behind the curtain to find out the truth. They are behind the curtain! The obvious solution would have been to isolate seniors and tell everyone else to go back to work along with all of the hygiene protocols.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to inspectorudy. | March 25, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    “What we are seeing is what happens when the MSM has an agenda. They are in bed with the Dems…”

Anacleto Mitraglia | March 25, 2020 at 5:41 am

It’s too early to answer your question: maybe in three or four months we’ll draw the bottom line, if we’re lucky.
Meantime, take a look at this clip. It’s in Italian, but also very simple. It shows the obituaries in a local paper from Bergamo, a city of apprx. 120k inh. in Lombardy and one of the worst hit, before the pandemic outbreak (feb 9th) and after (March 13th).

One and a half page, versus ten pages. Scary.

    Anacleto Mitraglia in reply to Anacleto Mitraglia. | March 25, 2020 at 9:01 am

    May I add, from a doctor’s point of view: how many avoidable deaths due to the virus, but not because of the virus? How many heart attacks, how many brain strokes, how many acute renal failures die because the emergency wards are overwhelmed?

      Please. ERs have standard triage SOPs in place to handle overflow. No one should die because an ER is “busy”. Critical cases come first and all others take a back seat. And in the late 1990s medical companies overbuilt hospitals and treatment facilities, especially in areas with an elderly population, that there are now billboards giving real-time ER delay times, usually of 2-5 minutes prior to the COVID scam.

      The real problem for hospitals is the number of ICU beds necessary during a disease outbreak as well as the lack of quarantine facilities. And, of course, there are the normal under-staffing problems as well as staffing problems due to the fact that the disease in question is highly contagious. Hospital operations, outside the ICU, are now geared to providing minimal care for people who are in the hospital for a short time for surgical recovery and minor problems. They are under-staffed and under-supplied to handle a significant disease outbreak or natural disaster. Rather than lay in a good supply of non-perishable supplies, such as masks, gloves and gowns [which have a shelf life of decades], they buy only what they think they will need for the upcoming year. The same is true of specialized medical equipment, which can last years if not decades and which the cost of can be amortized yearly, whether it is used or not.

      If the hospitals can not handle less than 100,000 cases of an infectious disease in a country with a population of 330 MILLION people in the space of 6 months, then there is something terribly wrong with the medical profession.

        GWB in reply to Mac45. | March 25, 2020 at 1:04 pm

        Critical cases come first and all others take a back seat.
        And when there’s more critical cases than there are available treatment facilities?
        THAT is what she’s talking about.

        MarkSmith in reply to Mac45. | March 25, 2020 at 1:27 pm

        Obviously you have not been to ER.

        now billboards giving real-time ER delay times, usually of 2-5 minutes prior to the COVID scam.

        I was there last year and it took over 5 hrs to get my mother admitted. Probably closer an hour before someone saw her and we had a pre-admit from the PCP. She died 3 weeks later from the stroke she had.

        Talking to the staff there, wait time was typical. Unless someone is passed out, it is going to be put the mask on and sit over there.

        You are right about beds. Admits are going to be tough because the hospital was running at near capacity when a non-pandemic was going on.

          Mac45 in reply to MarkSmith. | March 25, 2020 at 4:17 pm

          The wait times are for the initial triage, not for admittance. Admittance requires several tests to make a determination of exactly what condition exists, the extent of the condition and if hospitalization is required. That is how triage works. Now, if your mother had to wait for an hour to be seen by a medical practitioner, then you need to relocate, as your area lacks sufficient medical care to support the population that it serves. Where I live I have seven hospitals within 10 miles, two of which are designated as trauma centers, and four have cardiac specialty services.

One of the lessons learned from this covid-19 pandemic is the rather obvious one of how the WHO or some other body must set up a standardized method for reporting disease information along with a standard set of definitions for all aspects involved. Until we have a process that everyone follows with terms that are defined exactly the same way from country to country we will forever be lost in the confusion we are currently watching.

    gospace in reply to Cleetus. | March 25, 2020 at 10:41 am

    WHO, or whatever other organization you want, can set up all the standardized reporting you ask for, and in the end, it won’t tell you squat.

    Governments lie. Communist governments lie the most.

    And every government has bureaucracies, each and every one of which does it’s best to make themselves look good, no matter how much they have to cook the books. And individuals within those bureaucracies will fudge statistics to make themselves look better.

There is no question that the pneumonia associated with this disease if particularly pernicious. However 19,119 World Wide Deaths are lost in the noise worldwide daily deaths. So someone, or some organization, is pushing fear and panic. The fear leads to a sense of being overwhelmed. The fear infects everyone including healthcare workers. Is the induced fear worse than the disease?

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to dystopia. | March 25, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    “So someone, or some organization, is pushing fear and panic.”

    DEM Globalists, DEM Communist Paid Globalists……..

The Dems have miscalculated on this one. Anyone who has lost someone they love understands there are times when your mind cuts through the chaff and the noise and focuses on what is really important.

The greed and callous calculation in never letting this crisis go waste has been registered by more people than they can imagine.

This reminds me of a friend who confided she was still very angry, decades later, at her sister following the death of their mother. They had agreed to take turns choosing the moderately valuable items of jewelry in their mom’s jewelry drawer. In the process, it became clear that her sister had done her homework to assure she maximized the monetary value of her choices, instead of picking things that were memorable. Mind you, none of their lives would have been impacted by adding a few hundred or even thousand dollars to their accounts.

This is a not a time for partisan politics, yet for them, it is. Those who care will not soon forget.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to elle. | March 25, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Hear Hear!

    RE: “The Dems have miscalculated on this one…..

    The greed and callous calculation in never letting this crisis go waste has been registered by more people than they can imagine.”

I get the same religious heresy response when I discuss statistical facts about the virus as I do when I discuss global warming.
The first problem with the numbers is the denominator is unknown. I’m convinced that millions of people got it and slept it off in a few days without getting tested.
The second is the media’s need to drive a doomsday story line to keep people clicking on channels or websites. They report ridiculous stories without skepticism like yesterday when some “expert” explained that within two weeks New York will need 100,000 intensive care unit beds. This is just stupid when you consider that there haven’t been 100,000 ICU patients worldwide during the last 5 months including all of China!
Last, whenever Trump or anyone calls for calm and hope, they are attacked from the Left as wanting to kill grandma. The bar is so low that if one grandfather dies out of the 7.5 billion people on earth or the 330 million people in the U.S., it will be blood on your hands.
Never mind that, sadly, over the last five months, 10,000 or more grandmas or grandpas have died of influenza and nobody seems to blame Trump or anyone for that.


COVID-19: Approximately 19,625 deaths reported worldwide; 802 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 25, 2020.*

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.

One thing to watch is the hospitalization rates. Quick look at the CDC site with incomplete data is about 10%. Lets say 5% are ICU (my guess). That would put a need 100 K beds.

Considering that we only have about 50 K ICU beds nationwide, that puts us at about 1 M active cases. This would require an additional 50 K beds for non-icu cases.

We are currently at 53,192 positive cases, so we are ok for now. I would guess that we are tracking for 2 M, thus putting our bed count between 100K to 150 K.

Ferdo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, asking for 30 K of ventilators in the next 14 days is excessive.

The whole state of New York currently has 3234 Hospitalized. I would guess putting them at 1/2 on ventilators, 1617 currently. US is giving them 4 K. I doubt they will need more than 10 K of beds and ventilators, but they are special, so we will see. It is the rich person’s virus, do when us common folks get it we are screwed.

To keep it in prospective, the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic was 115 K cases, 27 K hospitalization. We have about 2 more months of this and it starts again in Oct.


Hospital Bed Info:

Good CDC Information:

2009 flu pandemic in the United States

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | March 25, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I am guessing about 800 deaths per week when this flattens out. As a BS layman guessing, I would guess we end up around ten more weeks so we end up around 9K. Adding a few extra, I bet 11 K estimated deaths by June, the run of the cycle with 2 M confirmed cases. That would put the death rate at .6% against confirmed cases.

    Layman guess.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MarkSmith. | March 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Remember that Goobernor Cuomo

      REFUSED TO BUY those ventilators

      before the DEM-PANIC was started.

      If the number of cases keep increasing at the rate it has for the last 3 weeks, we’ll be at a million by April 4th.

      If the number of deaths increase at the rate it has for the last week or so, we’ll be at about 9k deaths on the same date.

      Hopefully, the social distancing will start reducing the rate of increase soon, but it hasn’t really shown up yet in the data.

        MarkSmith in reply to BKC. | March 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm

        Makes sense, but I am guessing that if the quinine treatment hits the death rate to cases is going to nose dive.

The original post raises an interesting question. Unfortunately, the numbers from Italy are really bad compared to deaths last year.

Almost 1,000 deaths in the province of Bergamo, Italy, but the real toll is much much higher. Some small towns in the province:

Bagnatica: From Feb 27 to date of the article: 16 deaths, 3 officially from the virus, compared with 28 deaths in all of last year.

Dalmine: 70 deaths so far this year. 2 from the virus, compared with 18 deaths in all of last year.

The town of Caravaggio (yes, that is where Michelangelo Merisi came from): 50 month to date, 2 officially from the virus, versus an average of 6 deaths for the same period in preceding years.

This is serious, folks. Wash your hands and maintain your distances.

The excess death rate is an interesting question but one that may cut the opposite.
How many people are dying because of the Emergency?
The steps taking in shutting down the country probably are contributing to the deaths of a lot of people because of reasons that have nothing to do with any virus.
Every year about 600,000 people die of heart attacks. That translates to 50,000 deaths a month.
I have to believe that isolation stemming from the panic and the difficulties in getting a checkup are causing excess deaths that caused by the Emergency. And even a 5% increase in heart disease deaths means 2,500 deaths which is more than twice the people killed by Corona in the US.