April 4, 2020: US Death Toll

Just to keep track of the nonsense that has wrecked our economy and generally made our politicians run around as if their fool heads were on fire, each day I publish the corona virus total death toll in the US based upon the latest data I can find.  A single death is an immense tragedy if you love the person.  However, we are not talking about love, but rather public policy, which should always involve a sober analysis of risk and cost.  Please recall that in a bad normal flu year our death toll in the US can be as high as 90,000.

 

Note:  this will be a total death toll since the beginning of this bad farce, and not a daily toll.  As of the beginning of April 4 the death toll is 7,403.  May the Perpetual Light shine upon them.

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8 Comments

  1. I really, really want New York City to open up about how it’s getting its numbers. Yeah, they’re a third of the size of Washington state, and actively urged people to do horrifically stupid things– but their numbers are still anomalous.

  2. In the commuter belt around New York, about 450 people can be expected to die in a typical day. New York and New Jersey reported just shy of 800 coronavirus deaths yesterday. Given what’s happening in Pennsylvania and in the metropolitan counties in Upstate New York, it’s a reasonable inference that 95% of these deaths are in the 20 counties which form the New York commuter belt, not Upstate or in the Philadelphia-oriented part of New Jersey. Yes, this viral agent is causing a great deal of misery in New York.

    By some accounts, the viral load you receive when exposed influences the severity of the infection. People are packed close together in New York. Mass transit is serious business there, when it’s largely an empty relic in most cities.

    Looking at what’s happened in New Orleans and Detroit, it seems that the dimensions of the seminal corps of infected people is important. Looking at what’s happened in Seattle, it seems like great care can push your numbers back to the middle of the range, at least.

  3. Interesting– I’d seen stats that “in a normal day, 100-200 people die in New York City,” but they were notably lacking in source and I’ve seen folks doing the same switch between Seattle proper vs the Seattle Blob/King County/King-and-Pierce-county. They’re all valid, just stuff that has to be paid attention to when defining.

  4. My cynical guess about what’s going on in NYC? They talk about mitigation and bending the curve, but they’ve deliberately decided to do neither. Because it isn’t possible in a city of 11 (?) million. And frankly, isn’t desirable in a global financial hub.

  5. My cynical guess about what’s going on in NYC? They talk about mitigation and bending the curve, but they’ve deliberately decided to do neither. Because it isn’t possible in a city of 11 (?) million. And frankly, isn’t desirable in a global financial hub.

    Really, what form is ‘deciding not to’ going to take? We have stay-at-home and shut-your-business orders and no one enforces them? Where is this happening?

    Again, a real problem is supply-chain back-ups, and I’m not sure any public official can do much about that.

    The closures went into effect in New York on 20 March. There should be some manifestation of this in the death tolls by mid-April.

  6. Be nice to know their estimated date for the end of the first wave.

    And really, other than score keeping, this information is largely useless to the ordinary layman.

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