April 8, 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 8 the death toll is 12,857.  May the Perpetual Light shine upon them.

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  1. In 12 months (April 2009 – April 2010) the Swine Flu pandemic had 60.8 million known cases in the U.S. and 12,469 died. I wonder how many unknown cases. I don’t recall any mitigation at all. In fact, our family was in Disney World the summer of 2009.

    In 39 days Covid-19 has killed more Americans than Swine Flu, and that is WITH mitigation. This thing is a real killer. Keep watching that death rate trend (%) as time goes on. A serious (but temporary) mitigation strategy is just basic common sense, keeping in mind that only God and hindsight are 20/20

  2. New York and New Jersey are massive outliers on their reported deaths– and also more than half the total claimed deaths, in spite of getting started on reports rather late. New York is literally double the per-million deaths for New Jersey, they were both noted for the uncharacteristic behavior of the Kung Flu in their area .
    Normal flu and reports of ILI behaves similarly to the kung flu in other years and all other places in the US…besides those two. Which suggests a unique reporting metric is being applied in those locations, especially since they only started reporting cases at all relatively late.

    Somewhat related to this is that this is at least 42 days after a reported kung flu death. They backdated several in Washington. I’d comment on what New York is doing, but they don’t give any details.
    More accurately, this would be closer to 50 days in, from the first known identified-in-the-US case (guy flew into Spokane from China via Seattle.) It will be very interesting to see the results if that flu study in Seattle ever gets to test their swabs that go back to the start of flu season, especially since…well, SeaTac. If you know it, no more needs to be said, if you have been spared that, just figure “very poor flow design, lots of surfaces.”

    Also, the numbers for Swine Flu are not apples to apples; it’s an evolved estimate.

    The big difference is that kung flu behaves more like the usual flu. That’s why a notably disproportionate number of the deaths are in nursing homes. H1N1 was the other way, at least by reports it was hitting mostly the young and healthy. Since the news story mentions that there were no schools still closed, there were mitigation efforts– they just were limited to where there was an outbreak. Rather than locking my rural Californian family in their house, because LA is scared.

  3. salutes Flattered.

    I came back to try to hammer a bit more on exactly how far out there the numbers for New York are.

    If you open World of Meters and sort by the deaths-per-1-million-population, you have to go down twenty to break double digits. 19, if you don’t count Wyoming with zero deaths in the month they’ve had cases.
    New York is reporting two hundred and eighty per million in slightly less than a month.

    Population density? Connecticut has almost double that of New York. It’s got 77 per million, ATM. DC has the highest metropolitan area density in the US*, and has thirty two per million.

    This is a serious outlier.

    *Metropolitan area chosen because it avoids the carve-outs of places that are not incorporated but function as part of the city anyways; I have never lived in Seattle proper, I definitely lived in the Seattle Blob. It can get confusing because the census defines stuff… creatively, it appears that they have new-york-metropolitan-area-including-parts-of-new-jersey.

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