COVID-19 from a different angle

by jmh1 min read4th May 20206 comments



Just trying to put things into a larger context for my own thinking here. Not much (if anything) new here. Purely USA centered.

Needless to say SARS-CoV-2 is THE event of 2020 and may well prove to be the event of the century (but a lot can happen in 100 years). At least that is probably what everyone would think at this point.

Probably a lot of wide CI bands here but we'll learn going forward.

What I wanted to look at was some guess at what we might see looking back on 2020 regarding mortality.

Currently the USA seems to have a mortality rate of about 8.34 per 1000.

Statista provide a graphic show daily deaths (7,969.7/day) for 2019 and a few days for COVID-19. I very crude calculation (basically Feb, Mar, Apr + 10 days) gets us about 690 COVID-19 deaths per day -- likely an under estimate as we're probably not peak death now.

So what happens to the expect mortality rate if we assume all COVID-19 deaths would not have occurred in the absence of the virus -- in other words, the person with a cause of death identified as COVIV-19 would have lived rather they having died during the year from some other cause.

Well, using the 690/day guess mortality would increase about 7.9%. Using the number for April 29 provided by Statista that goes up to about 12.6%. These mean the (very crude) expected mortality rate for 2020 would be between 9 and 9.3.

In one sense that doesn't seem like a lot. However, it would also represent the rates for the USA in the early 1970s; basically a 45 year set back. That does seem rather significant.

However, that is the worst case scenario as it assumed non of those COVID-19 deaths would have occurred due to some other cause. This seems a highly questionable assumption given the most at risk population.

I'm not sure how to really assess that question. I do think that some insights here are probably very useful in the context of reopening/relaxing the existing restrictions on social and economic activity.

Has anyone seen studies on funeral data that might offer some insight to allow calculation of the net new deaths resulting from the virus? I would be surprised the data is not there but suspect it is not in any consolidated DB.

So a prediction option for those who perhaps want to offer their thought. How much will the current mortality rate, 8.34 is what I've found but not sure if that is 2018 or 2019, increase due to SARS-CoV-2?