Excess deaths are down — below average — for those younger than eighteen

In the United States that is, link here, from Lyman Stone, photo here:

In other words, lockdown and shelter at home have limited some of the otherwise risky activities that young people engage in.

Excess deaths more generally seem to have reached a normal range, albeit at the upper end of that range:

I wouldn’t want to call this “good news,” but it is one form of putting the current situation into perspective.

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This is not surprising; the leading cause of death for young adults is car accidents, which don’t happen if everyone is staying home. But I don’t think this is good news. By the principle of revealed preference, people are better off in a world where they are living normal life including the risk of car accidents compared to one where they are not, as they voluntarily choose to engage in normal life and accept the risk of car accidents.

Increasingly, I am thinking the best measure of how damaging the pandemic was is not deaths at all but the number of days a given area spent deviating from normal life (maybe times some measure of the degree of deviance, though that may be impossible to quantify).

I’m going by “weeks the gym is closed”

That or “weeks we have way too much client work” although by the end of Q3 I think that will smooth out, since the “workstream transformation” will either trigger or be called off in corporate America. Either way the projects will be done.

people are better off in a world where they are living normal life including the risk of car accidents compared to one where they are not, as they voluntarily choose to engage in normal life and accept the risk of car accidents.

Are they? Tyler had a book once, something like The Great Stagnation. I'm wondering what to make of an economy whose primary goal seems to be to do whatever it takes not to deviate from your norm no matter what the circumstances as opposed to an economy that takes novel challenges and deals with them efficiently?

It's almost like the movie Jaws from this perspective is about misguided people who didn't listen to the wise mayor who insisted on keeping the beaches and upcoming festival going despite the shark attacks. "We aren't going to close the beaches but we do ask if you happen to have any open cuts that might be bleeding a bit to please not go into the water".

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In the US we are currently at roughly 100 million years of life spent deviated from norm (330 million people X 1/3 of year) due to Covid.

We are also roughly at 2 million years lost due to Covid deaths (130,000 deaths X 15 years/death).

Where do you get the 15 lost years of life per death?

At one point I used the breakdown by age of deaths from Italy. They published data with groups by every 10 years. Than I used the average life expectancy by age published on the US Social Security website. When I did that I came up with something like 11.4 years. I rounded up to get a rough number.

I have seen other people quote numbers similar to that. It's not an official number though.

It’s likely far too generous.

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You would need to use the expected life of those who died, most of them were very ill and were likely to die in the next 12 months in many of the cases. Trouble is putting together that sort of stuff is real hard, if not impossible.

Figuring out the average Quality-Adjusted Life Years lost per death (and per infection) seem like the kind of thing somebody ought to have done by July 10.

Figuring out how to deal with controlling the pandemic in the US seems like the kind of thing somebody ought to have done by July 10.

Hope this passes the MR narrative color filter - "On Friday, San Francisco announced it would not be opening many businesses on Monday as planned – including barber shops, hair salons and gyms – on account of the surge.

Infections and hospitalizations ballooned after Memorial Day weekend, when thousands of residents marched in protest of police brutality; outbreaks emerged from family gatherings and as loosened restrictions in counties saw the openings of bars and dine-in restaurants.

Since the holiday weekend, hospitalizations more than doubled in southern California’s Riverside, Ventura and Orange counties. Orange county has emerged as a seat of organized resistance to mandatory mask orders.

In Los Angeles county, where officials say one in 140 people are probably carrying the disease unknowingly, Barbara Ferrer, the public health director, told the Los Angeles Times that people who are fatigued by extended stay-at-home orders and have prematurely tried to return to pre-pandemic life contributed to the wave of new cases.

As the number of cases and deaths booms, so have the lines of people waiting to get tested.

The state is conducting more tests than ever, but that hasn’t prevented facilities from becoming overwhelmed, worrying health officials that demand has outpaced capacity.

In San Bernardino, where cases have tripled since Memorial Day, health officials have had to cancel hundreds of appointments for coronavirus tests, citing a shortage in materials.

All testing appointments in Los Angeles county were booked throughout the week, the Associated Press reported. Sacramento closed testing clinics because labs ran out of supplies. In San Diego, residents waited 10 days for tests."

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This is supposed to be an economics blog, isn't it? You would think to someone with only a year to live, every day would be precious. An 85 year old missing a day with a grandchild, for example, would be a much higher cost than a six year old missing a year of K-12. One of the reasons gold is more expensive than sand is its relative scarcity. (I can't believe that I have to point this out here.)

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Looking for median age of new cases, found this interesting table from California Department of Public Health

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-19-Cases-by-Age-Group.aspx#

Median age at death is clearly over 75. Almost 60% of cases are 18-49. They are detecting more cases among younger people who die much less frequently. The CDC changed the case definition back in May, IIRC, so that a positive test is no longer required. If you were exposed to someone positive and have one or more symptoms, bingo, you are a case. I wonder how many of the “spiking” cases are probables?

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But, that is not the relevant trade-off. The relevant trade-off is the margin: what is the marginal loss in GDP+loss of the quality of leisure to save a life and the value of a life is given by revealed preference and is not given by the "number of remaining years".

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“the pandemic was“
Past tense? Really?

Well it’s ongoing. We won’t know the true impact for a while.

Technically it has dropped below 'pandemic' classification.

Barring a miracle or a vaccine this virus will run it's course regardless of shutdowns, social distancing or masks. 70% or more of everyone (every country) on earth will get it. If you have conditions that make it likely that you die from covid-19 it won't matter if you get it now or next week or next year. This will progress until there is herd immunity and the virus ceases to be in the general population. tracking and charting the progression may have some technical value but it has zero practical value AND jumping to conclusions based on these charts or data is less useful than day dreaming at work.

Some areas seem to have gotten case counts down to pretty low levels. I guess we don’t know for sure if they can sustain it forever, but it’s working so far.

In a lot of past diseases like polio and smallpox, not everyone got those diseases... and people also didn’t get herd immunity to them until vaccination.

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It absolutely does matter when you get it. Treatment options have expanded significant just in the last two months. That’s likely to continue, so I’d rather get it next March than this August.

+1

I don't know why this angle isn't discussed enough. We may never get an effective vaccine...or maybe herd immunity doesn't happen because you're not actually immune forever after you have covid once. But certainly we'll get better at treating it, both with drugs and without (when to intervene, when to provide oxygen, etc, etc). The slower the spread, the more people who get better treatment when they do get it.

There's a reasonable middle between shutting the economy down and doing nothing at all...

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> 70% or more of everyone (every country) on earth will get it.

Or get it once every 3-6 months (as the antibodies wear off) until their luck runs out and it kills them?

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Is this underreported? Yes.

Does this "put the current situation in perspective"? It depends on what your current state of info is.

It would be more helpful if you made a gesture toward balance - like, say, by including data on ICU rooms that are full. That would bring "perspective".

What you bring here is heavy-handed and a little disappointing.

We are starting to see the tide turn and the doom-and-gloom crowd is frantically clawing at power.

Or, like Tyler, they're slowly realizing that COVID is overblown, NY and the Northeast deliberately chose fatal policies.

It's a fugazi.

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Yep. Almost half of all deaths in deep-blue NY, NJ and MA.... yet somehow this is supposed to be "Trump's National Nighmare."

As for Tyler:
>I wouldn’t want to call this “good news,”

Of course not! Lower deaths in Trump's America? Why would anyone want to call that good news?

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Yes. About 25% of all deaths occured in NY, most of those due to Governor Cuomo's decision to put covid patients in nursing homes, thereby killing those unfortunate, vulnerable, and powerless old people.

Cuomo is literally a murderer, perhaps even a Nazi. Worse, he is not even nice.

Seems handy with a paintbrush.

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TIL that turning the tide looks like an AZ county ordering refrigeration trucks for use as emergency morgues.

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/506855-arizona-county-requests-refrigerated-trucks-as-morgues-hit-97-capacity

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This non-sensationalist display of graphs is neither heavy-handed nor disappointing.

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The Washington Post reports today that in the US there are 16 new cases per 1000. How many of those 1.6% will need ICU beds?

How is that for perspective?

According to the CDC, about 1%, given the ages of the people getting infected. What's your point?

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Are there people who think that the point of living is simply to avoid death?
Anyway, I'd bet that most of the under 18 drop is due to fewer traffic fatalities rather than "risky behavior" per se, but I haven't looked into this.

The sad thing (or one of the sad things) is that, to the extent that the debate about re-opening schools is centred on *child* safety, it is completely misguided. If 60% of Americans contracted COVID, it would result in ~1 million deaths from the virus (assuming an avg. IFR of 0.5%). The number of children under 17 that would be included in that hypothetical total? Approximately 600. Ironically, that is extremely close to the number of children killed on average in motor vehicle accidents every year (11 per week, on average).

I suppose I meant "coincidentally."

That is a wildly high IFR, esp. if you don't age adjust. Under 50 is basically nil chance of death outside NY (ventilate early, and often), and if you're not having multiple serious comorbidities.

It's just an estimate of the average, across all ages. I estimated very conservatively and still easily made my point.

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"Outside of NY" is a way of saying "If you estimate IFR by lumping in places that didn't have extensive community spread."

In NY, the rate of death / 100k of people between 18-50 from COVID19 was about 8x that of seasonal influenza and slightly above the rate of death from auto accidents. I'd believe that the mortality rate might be slightly better in the future due to a prepared medical system and a handful of therapies that work (dexamethasone, remdesivir). But the claim that it's 'nil' seems unfounded.

It is quite literally saying where we have good governance, we have better response, and better mortality.

The real surprise is CA doing so well when Newsom's peers in NJ/NY/MA/MI/IL did so poorly.

If your claim is that effective government responses can mitigate spread, than I have no disagreement with you. I understand your claim to be about the fundamental biology of the virus and the risk posed to an average 18-50 year old who is infected, which is low but not negligible - it's riskier than a year of routine commuting.

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AFAIK, seasonal influenza really doesn't lay low that many 18-50 year olds, so 8x a really, really small number seems like it must also be a really small number. Really.

Depends on what you count as "small" influenza and related pneumonia is around the 8th leading cause of death for your adults depending on the year. In 2018-2019, for instance, pegs in around 2,500 deaths in the 18-49 range. 8 times that would, of course, be right around 10,000.

Which is larger than all American deaths in Iraq, double the annual amount of all Americans killed by police, and several orders of magnitude higher than typical terrorist deaths or unarmed black men to go with some political mortality figures.

Once we start getting into comorbidities, sure the IFR looks like it tanks. But comorbidities include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and if some lousy data is buyable, depression and anxiety.

The Covid risk for the young is low and falling, but it is still likely their greatest mortality risk they face this year and will be for quite some time.

I don't really disagree with your last statement but I think we do have to take a little care because the time to death for younger people is a lot longer than the time to death for older people. A recent case was of 41 year old who spent 3 months in hospital before dying. It would be interesting to look at death counts by approx date of infection for each age group. There are going to be drops in the tail of the graph where people haven't died yet - but where those drops occur give an indication of the average time till death.

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That 1000 figure for police deaths is exclusively by firearms. Over three hundred people a year die in high speed pursuits, with a third of them being totally innocent bystanders. Further, deaths in custody are not counted - much like how deaths by firearm use involving the police were not counted until 2015. Floyd's death is not part of the 1000 figure, nor is the death of Manuel Ellis on March 3, also saying he couldn't breathe.

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He covered that further down: most under 18 deaths are infant deaths. Infant deaths are down due to less travel, more attention and fewer infectious diseases. Traffic death for teenagers are also down.

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"I'd bet that most of the under 18 drop is due to fewer traffic fatalities rather than "risky behavior"
false dichotomy?
many possibly most traffic fatalities are due to risky behavior

My professional experience is that it is the extremely rare MVC fatality that does not involve one of the following:
1. Alcohol
2. Other intoxicant
3. Teenage male that somebody admits was doing something dumb and risky.
4. Extremely incompetent driver who cannot handle road conditions (e.g. new drivers on ice, seniors with eyesight issues in poor light conditions) which I would also argue is highly risky behavior.

Most vehicles are now designed so that you can drive straight into a concrete pillar at highway speed without dying (e.g. fall asleep on cruise control and hit an overpass pillar). Even most side impacts need something pretty far out of the ordinary to kill people. Modern safety features are just crazy good at keeping you alive.

Thank you for your consistently informative and thoughtful contributions.

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Now do rollovers

Fine.

First risk of death is not wearing the seatbelt in a rollover. While unrestrained drivers or passengers get it bad in MVCs, they are wildly overrepresented in rollover fatalities. Even if you are not ejected, the sticking your head into high tension glass is a great way to bleed profusely.

Second is alcohol. Which should shock exactly no one as that most common mechanism of getting a rollover these days is to drift off the pavement at high speeds.

Young male drivers are even more wildly overrepresented. Speeds beyond typical highway speeds are again highly associated with fatalities as speeds grossly in excess of those warranted by road conditions. Relatively few women or older men operate vehicles at these speeds.

One of these three is present in the vast majority of rollover deaths.

The big one most people do not know is that most of these are from older vehicles. Somewhere in the middle of the last decade they made electronic stabilization mandatory and we have largely stopped seeing these in newer model vehicles.

Depending on how you class them, ATV rollovers are also a common risk factor and there again young males with alcohol doing dumb things writes over half the death certificates. Helmets do a lot to drop the death rate here.

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I wonder what life expectancy will be like for 2020. I could see it being down a year or 2 to up a year.

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What would these look like if limited to states where covid is spiking? How about a graph showing flood damage from tropical storms across the U.S. for this week. Then a graph for storm damage across the area where tropical storms are spiking this week. It's all in the presentation. On the one hand, Florida, Texas, and Arizona might look awful, and on the other hand Florida, Texas, and Arizona, might look great. It all depends on where one is sitting.

The states that will look bad are likely the Northeast + MI, IL.

TX/FL/AZ are not experiencing COVID the same way blue states did.

CA was at the top of the pile yesterday (weird Ray didn't mention them) but still at 10% of NJ's total/mil.

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Yup. BosNYWash, then squeeze in Louisiana (Mardi Gras!), Michigan, Illinois, then a big drop-off to Indiana and Mississippi (proximity to hotspots), then another drop-off to the rest.

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Excess deaths in Texas, Florida, and Arizona are basically flat.

It might just be too soon to see it in the excess deaths data at the state level, but the 7-day moving average of Covid deaths per day is up significantly in each of those states from their minimums and from even just a couple of weeks ago.

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If it’s flat, then why is the Houston morgue so full they’ve asked for FEMA trailers?

Whether Italy, Spain, France, NYC etc. you always hear these urban legends of hospitals and morgues being overwhelmed. Don't be fooled by fake news - trust the commenters here to set you straight.

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The hunger for doom and gloom among the MR commentators seems to be desperate and limitless. Why is that?

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It's a great example of reversion to the mean. When people see that life has become less safe, they react by changing their behavior to regain the previous level of safety. You would expect the level of excess deaths to fall back to normal as people adapt. Does this mean the pandemic is over? No, it means that we have reached what is likely a stable steady state where the danger of the disease is matched by public behavioral adaptation to protect themselves from the disease. From here on, as excess deaths rise or fall, expect the public to adjust their behavior to keep reverting to the mean. When broken down by age, death rates are down for young people, so you would expect them to act in less safe ways. The elderly will continue to isolate at the current level or more, as their death rate has yet to fully fall back to the norm. The middle aged are more cautious than the young, but less so than the elderly, as their death rate (other than in hot spots) is now falling below the norm. Expect variations in behavior geographically as well as by age as different regions see death rates climb and fall.

This feedback loop is the new normal until technology delivers something to make us safer (vaccines, treatments), or the disease peters out after sufficient exposure in the population (several years, at this rate). It doesn't have to be this way; other countries are more willing to collectively accept excessive safety for a time to drive infection levels very low, but Americans prefer to act according to how they judge their own and their family's circumstances, rather than trusting to the expertise of political leaders and their advisors and obeying calls for collective action. Americans have long accepted higher violent and accidental death rates than other advanced economies, which results in our shorter life spans. It appears that our tolerance for higher death rates extends to contagious disease.

This is a good comment, but it somewhat presumes that people are "good at" pandemics, or invisible risks in general.

Obviously if people had nailed the risks we would not be seeing "overshoots" in Texas and Florida.

The risk is remarkably low for the demographic catching it in FL/TX.

As in less than the flu low.

Tom addresses that below.

fwiw, if the all cause mortality chart above does manage to hold through the spikes, I will have to admit to some excess pessimism.

Numerically I don't see how it can, because the rate of hospitalization has not fallen sufficiently, but we'll see ..

Look into how the hospitalizations are being counter.

The pessimism is excess. Mass hysteria brought on by social media and election year (for the US).

Hospitalizations per population actually matters. First from a pain and suffering perspective. Second from the standpoint of survivability. Third from the standpoint of state capacity.

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There are 50,000 current covid hospitalizations, which the psychopaths will view as "useful data" rather than national tragedy.

https://twitter.com/ScottGottliebMD/status/1281786741029052418?s=19

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"Mass hysteria"? Where are you seeing this? The US has lots of coronavirus cases that means people must be acting close to normal. The mass hysteria must be in places with low numbers of coronavirus cases right?

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You persist in conflating epidemiology and biology in the comments in a way that is misleading. Yes, the overall mortality rates / 100k for people < 50 in most states is lower for COVID19 than the seasonal flu - but that's because most states haven't had extensive community spread yet. In the only state that had comparable prevalence to the flu, the mortality from COVID in the < 50yo population was an order of magnitude greater than the seasonal flu.

In Sweden which has not had a lockdown the mortality of COVID among people under 40 was insignificant. But I guess mortality heavily depends on obesity rates.

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I'm not saying that individuals adapting based their individual perception of safety is a good way to fight the pandemic; it isn't from an epidemiological viewpoint. Our actions do not only affect ourselves, they affect others, particularly with a contagious disease where symptoms appear days after contagion sets in. Large signal lag times make feedback control difficult, leading to oscillations and overshoots. But relying on individuals to act based only on individual judgment is VERY American. In other times, it is a strength, making the US a uniquely democratic, free, dynamic, but often foolish place. We don't learn from watching others fail; we have to try it ourselves. It's also why we don't accept much gun control. As a society, we are particularly ill-suited to combat this disease.

By extension, New York and New Jersey are the most free, dynamic and foolishly individualistic and are exceptionally ill-suited for disease combat.

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Completely mistaken analysis, wildly at war with the facts. American exceptionalism in virus response is attributable entirely to a handful of northeastern states, and the sharply higher death rates in those states was driven by the disastrously wrong decisions of state government, forcing elderly virus patients into nursing homes. Exclude those states and the rest of the country's virus death rates hold up quite favorably with those of other first-world countries. Simply put, "individualism" is playing no role in US death rates.

That argument held a lot more water before the second surge started in the South and Southwest, driven by irresponsible local and individual decisions. This is not a problem of government mismanagement (except as so far as government mismanagement is a symptom of the phenomenon Tom Meadowcraft is discussing), this is a problem of a decentralized and individualistic culture.

Picking at random one of the Arizona hotspots - I picked the darkest red one - Santa Cruz County on the border, one finds it has or has had the 2nd highest covid cases per capita in AZ. News reports tie many of these cases to a handful of multigenerational family gatherings, a Mother's Day celebration in particular. I will give you a guess as to which demographic is most heavily represented in Santa Cruz County, and is very likely to have held that multigenerational Mother's Day gathering. Hint: it is the same one that reveres Mary, Madre de Dios.

This doesn't sound like reckless, rugged, Red State individualism to me; but of course definitions are fluid.

My mother got a card, and I'm not just an inidividualist, I'm near as makes no difference to a sociopath.

'I will give you a guess as to which demographic is most heavily represented in Santa Cruz County'

Must be Italians.

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Populations full of conformist centralizers select strong leaders who govern from the top-down. Those who prize their autonomy above all select leaders who tell the public to "go do what's right". What's right can be different for different people. There's a spectrum of leadership between those extremes, of course, but people tend to be led by governments that look like them.

But of course Constitutionalism is supposed to balance the concerns, centralizer vs citizen.

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"Those who prize their autonomy above all select leaders who tell the public to 'go do what's right'. What's right can be different for different people. "

I live under the thumb of a mayor who just decided - without any noticeable misgivings - that I can be fined up to $2000 for not wearing a mask outdoors, unless I am "exercising solo." I hope I will be able to make what I do outside - oftentimes, bloveate, or watch birds - look convincing. Hopefully even if what's right may not be "different for different people" here, what's exercise may be.

They painted six-foot squares all over the big lawn in the park; perhaps eventually we may stand each to a square and bounce balls in unison, to show we care.

Because people have demonstrated that they can't be trusted to exercise appropriate judgement and discretion on their own. Since the carrot didn't work, now they get the stick.

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Did you at all consider the possibility that one could play the same game with European data by throwing out high covid-19 deaths in various cities in the comparative analysis.

Except that the current narrative is that the US's poor performance is the fault of Republican mouth breathers.

If you drop New York State from the US stats, we're actually doing a bit better than the EU average, even if they don't drop Italy. New York's response was completely governed by its governor, who has been lionized because his press conferences were substantially more presentable than Trump's.

He presented as caring, exactly like Trump didn’t. However, he did send senior patients back to living with their not-yet-infected nursing home neighbors.

-dk

-dk

The US's poor performance is ongoing over months - and getting worse, not better as of today.

"Poor performance ongoing over months," the phrase formerly known as "flatten the curve."

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The Feb/March outbreaks in the US had massive uncounted caseloads due to limited testing. The current outbreaks are much much smaller.

Bingo, give that man a prize!!! This has been obvious to all of us who have been following this since the onset. What is astounding are the calls for reducing testing. The President and his minions ought to be testing everyone and then the true CRF would be known (probably 0.3-0.6%). Right now it 'officially' hovers around 4.2% which is still a scare number for most people.

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Then why are positive rates going up so much?

Can't speak to all of it, but several places in Texas have gone back to only allowing testing for people who are symptomatic. This is obviously going to bias the results.

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We stopped 20% of the deaths of children and all we had to do was give up all our freedom?

What a deal! If you want to ever open up again, you want to kill children.

Lockdown4ever!

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Interesting:"282,000 life-years are lost among the 65+ crowd. 371,000 among the 18-64. And 120,000 life years are *gained* among the under-18s. So a net loss of 532,000 life years in the course of 5 months."

That sounds like a lot, but if you do the math it’s about 6 million life-months per 300 million Americans per five months, so the lost life-years per American are equivalent to 1/50th of a month over a five-month period or 1/250th of the total time (a bit more than half a day). So if you believe the average American’s quality of life has fallen by more than 1/250th (which I think it clearly has) during the last five months, and if you would lose half a day off your live to have had an otherwise normal past five months, then the deaths would be only a minority of the impact of COVID and so would not be the best measure of pandemic impact.

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And since he's comparing loss of life from different sources, my state has been bobbling from chance a covid death = driving between 80 and 120 miles. Just for some perspective.

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For those of us who try to actually understand data presented graphically, the first picture is of EXCESS CUMULATIVE DEATHS (based on some model baseline)

I was looking for a comment to this effect, pretty odd to have cumulative deaths decreasing

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What do people do every January that causes such high mortality? Surely it can't all be due to DUIs on New Year's Eve?

Mortality is always higher in winter months. Influenza deaths are peaking and cold weather exacerbates a number of medical conditions among the elderly.

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I wondered the same. My guess is that you have a lot of people deciding with an illness to hang on through christmas. I saw it reported once that people with terminal illnesses tended to make it to a lot of their family's landmark events (weddings, graduations, birth of baby) and then they died--suggestion you have some leeway in this. Also, here in the northwest, I think the slide from January to March is the toughest part of the year. Very short days, non-stop rain, no holidays to look forward to. I could totally see people deciding to checkout in January.

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DUI is not the only way an alcohol binge kills you. Gross intoxication is also a major factor in suicide, acute pancreatitis, aspiration pneumonia, and a host of other things that kill you.

More generally, an insult that occurs during the holidays may take some time to circle the drain. Quite often we see an insult throw a stable disease process out of whack that evolves into an infection, a hip fracture, a MI, or some other end organ damage. This often gives rise to new problems and things get worse from there.

The other thing to remember is that winter travel around the holidays is a great way to infect people and transmit new strains long distances to vulnerable populations who can then spend a month spreading amongst themselves.

And yes, the weeks after Christmas have a large number of terminal cases who one way or another let it go when they are "done".

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The graphics in this article are disturbingly lucid and offer little, if nothing, in the way of 'good news'.

The US has run out of time and excuses. Now we'll be forced to watch thousands die of the coronavirus.

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-rising-cases-hospitalizations-herald-surge-in-us-deaths-2020-7

...Yea okay. Let me know when the deaths materialize.

"Now we'll be forced to watch thousands die of the coronavirus."

He kept the number low enough as to not be relevant. Thousands have been dying every week. All he's really saying is that deaths won't get much better.

They are getting worse.

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What on earth are "confirmed covid deaths"? They are surely not implying that each one was subject to a post mortem so what are they claiming?

I still find that one of the most striking features of the pandemic is the absurd over-confidence people have in the statistics, the "science", and their own opinions. It's a novel virus for heaven's sake. Nobody knows.

It is a novel virus, but coronavirii are incredibly common, we also generally know how viruses work.

This isn't a truly never before seen thing. as in some mutant form outerspace

You are over-confident in your analysis.

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With the first graph it's interesting to see that the risk of death due to the virus has increased proportionate to the normal risk of death has increased almost identically for 18-64 as to 65+. That runs counter to the narrative that the virus is only affecting the elderly. In fact, it increases the risk of death for everyone beyond puberty equally. Your risk of death from COVID-19 is proportional to your risk of death from all other causes (i.e. low for younger people, high for the elderly).

Tom, your takes in this thread are stunningly far from reality.

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That point was made by David Spiegelhalter some months ago.

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If we follow this kind of reasoning to its logical conclusion, why not imposed a permanent stay at home order for all people under 18?

Just because young people aren't dying in as high a number doesn't mean they aren't being harmed by the epidemic. Among other ways, by losing the social experiences that are important to their development.

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The expected deaths are about 50,000 and stable.
I have a theory, naturally. The house districts are band limited. They can accept so many distraught families and no more. When deaths exceed expectations, their phone lines clog and they will legislate some expensive cure to unclog the phone line.

The mechanism are the local news reports where voters complain the local rep is not listening. If we had more reps then the political damage from dying too often is reduced, we can boost expected deaths.

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I may just be bad at searching but does anyone have a link to the datasource for the charts?

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Can someone explain how a "change in cumulative deaths" (the title of the first graph) can be negative?

the title should be "change excess in cumulative deaths". The negative percentage indicates that fewer people less than 18 years old are dying than usual.

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Just checking : According to the link is that about 500,000 more deaths total than would be expected all else equal but with no Coronavirus?

Looking at it again, it's not that scary, but still plenty scary.

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Lyman Stone also says we have lost at the very least 200k Americans this year to Covid, very possibly 250k!

Yes by Stone is also a ninny who thinks it's okay to tweet-storm out what could have been a proper blog post

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Why were excess deaths at the upper end of the normal range also in January?

The curve appears to be completely back to normal for this year. It's strange, though, that this year's curve is above the others to start with.

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The median age of people dying from COVID in America is 78 years according to the CDC. The life expectancy at birth in America is.... 78 years. Draw your own conclusions.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6928e1.htm?s_cid=mm6928e1_w

You're not very good at statistics?

He isn't, is he?

Before this plague what was the life expectancy of 78 year old Americans?

Ten years plus change. Not counting this year.

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What was going on in 2017-18?

Yet somehow, it slipped under the radar.

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A little late to this discussion, but a few observations:

1. I don't see any reference to the source of information. I assume that it is derived from data compiled by the CDC; but that reference is no where to be found. It's a bit disturbing to be commenting on and drawing opinions from un-sourced data, especially something originating from Twitter!

2. The second graph covers years staring in 2012 and appears to show total deaths reported per week or month. This graph does not appear to be adjusted for population growth and/or ageing of the population. Per the US census, the US population has recently been growing between 10 and 14 percent per year. Also, the percent of the aged population has been growing faster. One would expect the red line to be on top for both reasons (spikes aside).

3. I don't get the label "change in cumulative deaths since Feb 1". Taken literally, the "cumulative deaths" would always be larger later in the year. Presumably, this means the change in cumulative deaths *above projection* (as estimated by the CDC and reported to them?);

4. Again, with a caveat on the sources of information/comparison, I would mildly agree with the interpretation of the drop in child deaths. However, the explanations don't seem to be consistent with the steep drop starting *February 1*. The "lockdowns" did not occur until March and as far as I know, public behavior did not change that much from February 1, at least not to the extent that would be suggested by the graph.

5. The second graph which Tyler refers to as "excess deaths", is not really that. Rather, it is total reported deaths. One would have to have access to other data regarding prior estimated deaths for 2020 compared to actual to use that description. One can assume that the red spike is caused by "excess deaths" but that would only be a rough indirect assumption; not a direct comparison.

6. Nevertheless, the red spike in the second graph as compared to the black line for "confirmed Covid deaths" seem to tell a similar story---assumed excess deaths shown by the spike in the red line seem to show a similar number of total deaths as the "confirmed cases". Roughly, but very roughly and tentatively, this would lead me to the conclusion that "confirmed" Covid deaths are much closer to reality than other looser forms of attribution. Eye-balling the charts, we're still below 100K.

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Deaths are a long-lagging indicator. This post is the equivalent of saying that everyone in the car was totally fine at the moment of impact. My guess is that it will age badly; check back in August. On the positive side, mortality in an outbreak usually gets better over time, so we're probably not in for another New York-style disaster if governments in the affected states take even minimal steps.

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Again, quarantine households, not communities.... End the hysteria.

+1

It's insane that our government has been unwilling to invest in contact-and-trace infrastructure. This isn't rocket science.

Seems to be for some people.

And the uncharitable would say that with the rising numbers, it is virus rocket science.

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Okay, are any of those claiming we're over/understressing the danger care to give their estimate for the official death toll by Sept 31 and December 31?

Always good to know just what people consider a disaster / acceptable casualties.

I consider myself on the alarmist side of the spectrum. My estimates:

Sept 31: 200,000 Dec 31: 300,000

A simple, almost linear, projection gets a bit over 200,000 by the end of September and 380,000 by the end of the year. There would have been about 100,000,000 confirmed infections by that latter date, almost halfway to herd immunity. (There were about 290,000 US deaths in combat during World War II, but the war lasted several years.)

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It's hard to miss the pattern. The less important the worker is to the economy, the more urgent the desire to "restart".

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The death rate seems to lag the infection rate by about a month. It has been about a month since re-opening, so if the death rate is going to rise, we'll start seeing it soon. Exponential growth always looks slow at first, so it is hard to tell if it is even happening except in retrospect.

Also, we won't really know much about the long term effects, for example, COVID induced disabilities, for another six months. Death is an easy endpoint. Disability can be a lot more costly.

The death rate is already heading up according to the 7 day average of official US COVID-19 deaths. It's up 40% from the low a week ago.

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