100,000 Deaths and Counting

Via Vox.com (5/27/20)

As Vox.com solemnly reports:

In the three months since the first reports of a US Covid-19 death on February 29 in Washington state, the death toll has reached six figures, according to the New York Times’s count. An unprecedented nationwide lockdown, with almost every state issuing a stay-at-home order and all of them placing restrictions on public activities, could only do so much to slow the virus’s spread (although earlier action likely could have saved more lives).

The coronavirus now looks like it will soon claim more lives in the US than the influenza outbreaks of the 1950s and ’60s that resulted in more than 100,000 deaths — the worst pandemics in modern history, behind only the 1918 flu that killed about 675,000 Americans.

Going by raw totals, more people have died in America from the coronavirus than in any other country in the world. Even adjusting for population, the US has one of the highest rates in deaths per million people, ranking behind only the hardest-hit countries in Europe. [Pols emphasis]

As Chris Cillizza of CNN noted earlier, there remains a sizable percentage of people in the United States who are still not taking this seriously:

Just 40% of self-identified GOPers in newly released Gallup data said that the coronavirus’ mortality rate was higher than that of seasonal flu, which kills roughly 1 out of every 1,000 people who get it. That number is largely unchanged from a mid-March Gallup survey that showed 42% of Republicans believing that coronavirus is deadlier than the flu.

Those numbers stand in stark contrast to the 9 in 10 Democrats who told Gallup that coronavirus is killing more Americans than the flu and the two-thirds of independents who said the same.

It’s also in stark contrast to the known facts regarding coronavirus’ mortality rate.

Keep up that social distancing and mask-wearing, friends.

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Bulwark kills it this afternoon:

    Don’t Blame Twitter (you can't mistake the pus for the infection)

    Peter Wehner makes that point in the Atlantic. “Donald Trump doesn’t merely want to criticize his opponents,” he writes, “he takes a depraved delight in inflicting pain on others, even if there’s collateral damage in the process, as is the case with the Klausutis family.”

    “There is a wickedness in our president that long ago corrupted him. It’s corrupted his party. And it’s in the process of corrupting our country, too,” writes Wehner, “He is a crimson stain on American decency.”

  2. itlduso says:

    The Covid19.colorado.gov website notes that 55% of the CO Covid deaths were people 80+ years old.  80 years old happens to be the average US lifespan, so I guess it's not unusual to expect that the majority of deaths would occur in this age group.  75% of all deaths are accounted for by those 70+ years old.

    Now, I understand that we're dealing with "lies, damned lies, and statistics" and I haven't spent time to process what this means, but it does seem to call for further analysis.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      If you look around a bit, you'll find other countries have a similar proportion of the dying in the upper age cohort. 

      Looking at the overall US performance and outcomes among other nations, we are pretty ordinary.  We are neither best nor worst if you look at per capita rates of illness or death when normalized to an equal number of days from some starting point tied to the course of disease.  You can play with the graphs at http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/ to see how we are doing.

      If we had better public health infrastructure, could we have done better?  Seems likely — South Korea and Japan had more interaction with China, but have been able to keep cases and deaths low by rigorous testing, tracking, and isolation.  Could it have been worse?  Sure, check out Belgium and Sweden.

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