Coronavirus

A New Study Estimates That COVID-19 Is Responsible for 2.5 Million Years of Life Lost in the U.S.

That is much lower than the toll from unintentional injuries, cancer, or heart disease but higher than the loss attributed to suicide or homicide.

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A new preprint study estimates that COVID-19 deaths in the United States cut lives short by a total of 2.5 million years as of early October. The author, Harvard Medical School geneticist Stephen Elledge, says he did the analysis to correct "the false impression that the impact on society of these deaths is minimal" because they are concentrated among the elderly.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people 65 or older, who represent 17 percent of the U.S. population, account for nearly 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths. But as Elledge emphasizes, people in that age group are not necessarily on the verge of death. The average life expectancy at 65 in the United States is about 83 for men and 86 for women.

"Because the great majority of COVID-19 deaths occur among the elderly," Elledge writes, "the false impression that the impact on society from these deaths is minimal may be conveyed since these individuals were closer to a natural death. Aside from any troubling ethical implications associated with rationalization of COVID-19 mortality along these lines, such a conclusion is unwarranted for at least two reasons. First, as individuals age, their life expectancies increase too, well beyond the life expectancy at birth, which is the value most familiar to the general public. Second, a significant number of relatively young individuals have also died from COVID-19 and had decades of remaining life expectancy."

Based on actuarial data on life expectancy and the age distribution of COVID-19 fatalities, Elledge roughly calculated that the 194,087 deaths reported by CDC as of October 3 amounted to 2,572,102 years of potential life lost (YPLL). The average loss based on that calculation was about 13 years and three months. Because the CDC breaks COVID-19 deaths into 10-year age ranges and the risk of dying from COVID-19 rises with age, Elledge performed an adjustment that reduced the YPLL number by 3.5 percent, to 2,486,160. That implies an average loss of nearly 12 years and 10 months.

Elledge notes that his analysis did not adequately account for "the effect of comorbidities on life expectancy." Since people who are less healthy to begin with are more likely to die from COVID-19, a calculation based on average life expectancies by age group is apt to exaggerate the years of potential life lost due to the disease. Elledge takes a stab at adjusting for comorbidities by including a calculation that reduces COVID's YPLL toll by 15 percent, from about 2.5 million to about 2 million. But this is really just a guess.

Other metrics of death-related costs, such as disability-adjusted life years (DALY) and quality-adjusted life years (QALY), try to take into account how healthy people would have been during their remaining years. That consideration is obviously relevant when comparing deaths at a young age to deaths at an advanced age, even leaving aside the difference in years of life expectancy.

"We did not undertake those analyses but note that there is a growing awareness of lasting effects on those infected with SARS-CoV-2 that lead to serious medical consequences," Elledge says. The implication is that a QALY or DALY approach would cut both ways: discounting years lost by people who were already in poor health while taking into account the lasting effects of nonfatal infections.

Leaving those issues aside and taking Elledge's numbers at face value, how do they compare to the losses associated with other causes of death?

In 2018, according to CDC data, unintentional injuries among Americans 85 or younger, including traffic accidents, were responsible for about 5.3 million years of potential life lost. Although those injuries caused fewer deaths (about 167,000) than COVID-19 has, the average loss was much bigger: more than 31 years, compared to about 13 years for COVID-19 per Elledge.

The average YPLL is only slightly higher for cancer than Elledge's estimate for COVID-19: 14 vs. 13 years. But because cancer causes more deaths (nearly 600,000 in 2018, per the CDC), the total loss is much bigger: about 8.5 million years. And while heart disease, according to the CDC's numbers, claimed an average of 10 years in 2018—less than the figure Elledge calculated for COVID-19—the total loss was still much higher: 6.6 million years of potential life.

In 2008, the CDC calculated that smoking was responsible for about 443,000 deaths per year (many of those from cancer and heart disease), amounting to 5.1 million YPLL, or more than 11 years on average. This year the CDC estimated that "excessive alcohol use" causes about 93,000 deaths a year (including about 7,000 motor vehicle deaths), resulting in a YPLL toll of 2.7 million annually, or an average of 29 years. By contrast, the 2.5 million YPLL toll calculated by Elledge for COVID-19 is higher than the annual loss that the CDC attributes to suicide (1.8 million), homicide (944,000), chronic lower respiratory disease (1.5 million), and diabetes (1.2 million)—all of which are considered serious problems worthy of national attention.

Contrary to Elledge's implication, however, people who emphasize the age distribution of COVID-19 deaths are not saying those deaths are "minimal" or don't matter. They are saying that years of potential life lost, and perhaps also the quality of those years, should be considered when weighing the costs and benefits of policies aimed at curtailing the epidemic. Elledge seems to agree.

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  1. This looks strongly like a way to gin up a big scary number to justify lockdowns and other dictatorial government actions.

    1. No need to fret. You can just say, “I don’t know what ‘actuarial means,” and someone will come along to enlighten you.

      1. You mean like you did?

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    2. If they are looking at average life expectancy per age group, the study is flawed. The people dying from/with COVID-19 were mostly below the average for their age cohort in terms of life expectancy, particularly if they were in nursing homes (and particularly those in New York).

      1. Yeah, the age thing is big, but even within the oldest cohorts, the great majority of deaths were people with serious health problems and mostly pretty short life expectancies. What was it, 96% had serious comorbidities?
        And why stop at 65+? Most of the people dying were much older than 65. What does it look like for 75 and older?

        1. I stopped listening when NPR pined on about the great accomplishments of John Glenn’s widow and Glenn’s place in history, then ending with ‘Annie Glenn died today from complications related to CoVid 19. She was 102.’

        2. The 96% number was overstated because they included respiratory failure and pneumonia, things that are often results of lung infection.

          However, if I recall, 35% had a co-morbidity of either heart attack or malignant cancer, and 22% had either alzheimers or dementia. Not nothing, but we have some serious overlap in the causes of death.

          1. I had thought it was pre-existing comorbidities. I’ll have to look into that.

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    3. Based on average life expectancy, we get 450 billion years of life right now .. makes this number seem small.

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    4. I look forward to the US data on total deaths during 2020, probably sometime around April next year. Compare that with 2019. The totals keep rising due to both population growth and an aging population, but what do we say if the new number is within reproducibility of the previous year?

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  2. Any analysis of gross statistics will have troubling connotations when looked at from the level of the individual. Like any triage situation is. You are trying to decide what the optimal strategy will be to use your resources wisely, knowing that you cannot save everyone. That may be the morally satisfying answer but it is what the actual choices are.

    1. “…may not be the morally satisfying answer…”

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    2. The optimal strategy was clearly to shut everything down, even though the risks for healthy people of working age were minimal.

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  4. “Elledge notes that his analysis did not adequately account for “the effect of comorbidities on life expectancy.”

    No shit.

    And if we are looking at QALY and DALY, we need to account for the 300 million or so Americans who have had their quality of life severely impacted by government responses to the virus over the past 6 months.

    1. Let’s say that the past 6 months only count as 5 months of quality adjusted life. Seems pretty conservative. That’s 25 million years of quality life lost right there. 10x this definitely over-estimated number for ‘Rona.

      1. Moreover, the cures and treatments for heart disease, diabetes, etc. that already exist not only buy you back the life years lost to the disease but pay dividends on top of it. You don’t just not die from the disease, you become more physically capable of enjoying life in the process. COVID lockdowns are the exact opposite, they cut QALY down until the disease cashes you out early.

        It’s a decent argument that such metrics of life years lost, alone, is the wrong metric. If we just start shooting people dead in the streets so that they don’t die of or spread COVID it will almost certainly depress the number of life years lost to COVID dramatically.

    2. Fuck, it’s seven moths now. What the hell is wrong with people?

  5. 300 million Americans (+/-), with a life expectancy of 84.5 years = 25.35 billion years. Sorry, but 2.5 million years lost is negligible.

    1. Only the author is allowed to use math. You are only allowed to gape at it in awe.

  6. Hospitalizations are up throughout most of the US, and hospitals are starting…just starting…to feel the strain, increasing ICU capacity often at the expense of standard beds. 31 states have had a greater than 10% increase in Covid cases.

    https://apnews.com/article/us-news-virus-outbreak-idaho-united-states-0e72ef33efd60d57c953fef4aa76d1e4

    “Hospitals across the United States are starting to buckle from a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with several states setting records for the number of people hospitalized and leaders scrambling to find extra beds and staff. New highs in cases have been reported in states big and small — from Idaho to Ohio — in recent days….’By the time we see hospitalizations rise, it means we’re really struggling,’ said Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason University.
    Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday the United States is seeing a “distressing trend” with COVID-19 cases growing in nearly three-quarters of the country.”

    And people here keep ignoring the fact that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator to positive cases. And deaths are a lagging indicator to hospitalizations. Well, yesterday there were 1100 deaths, highest in a month.

    Every trend is bad, and will get worse. We’re in October. It won’t get better in the next two months…unless action is taken now. And you’re staring to see that in different parts of the country, like with schools closing.

    Here’s what you don’t do when the trend is like our current one…open up further. A number of states already learned that hard lesson.

    1. Hi buttplug

    2. Yeah, keep everything closed, “unintended” consequences be damned!

    3. Yeah, it’s fall. Cold and flu season is starting. This is totally predictable. None of it suggests hospitals starting to “buckle”, which implies an irreversible structural failure.

      You make one good (and obvious) point pointing out that deaths lag behind cases. That’s the thing to look at to see if the “cases” numbers actually mean anything. If cases are up and ICU/deaths don’t follow in a few weeks, then what you have is an epidemic of testing, not of illness. There are some states where this is clearly what is happening. NY is the prime example, but there are others. Some states still seem to be going through their epidemic stages.

      But we should expect to see a normal seasonal uptick in infections and illness in places where the epidemic has already happened and the virus is now endemic. This is certainly the case for most of the North East.

      1. None of it suggests hospitals starting to “buckle”, which implies an irreversible structural failure.

        If structural failure does start to occur, it will in part be due to the structural damage inflicted in the spring. When delaying of everything from routine diagnostics to even non-elective surgeries led to a dramatic reduction in the workforce and bailouts provided enough incentive to stay home and avoid seeking work.

      2. The uptick, now, is in the Midwest, not northeast, more rural parts of the country. Such as Idaho.

        “Health officials in Idaho say people with COVID-19 in the northern part of the state soon may have to be sent for treatment in Seattle or Portland, Oregon, because the region’s hospitals are nearing capacity. Kootenai Health said in a statement Wednesday that its hospital is at 99% capacity for patients that need medical or surgical care. Chief Physician Executive Karen Cabell told KREM that the hospital nearing capacity is “unprecedented.” Idaho is seeing its largest spike in confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Newly reported cases have increased statewide by 46.5% over the past two weeks.”

        https://www.9and10news.com/i/the-latest-pandemic-straining-hospitals-in-northern-idaho/

        And that’s just one example. I could ho on with both Dakotas, Wisconsin, etc.

        And yes, we could be a few weeks behind yet on deaths increasing. We will see. Wednesday numbers weren’t a good indicator.

        1. I could ho on

          Hey, you be you

        2. Yes, like I said, some parts of the country are still dealing with an epidemic. They are where the North East was in April. Soon they will be through it. I’m sure it will suck for a little while for some people. And then it won’t. Just like every other epidemic ever.

          1. One of the dumbest things people do in all this is talking about the US like it is all the same place and it makes sense to look at national numbers. The idea of a second or third wave only makes sense if you look at it that way. Look at state by state data and you can see that some places had their epidemic in the Spring, and some had it in the summer. A few seem to have managed to spread it out somehow or other, but for the most part you see very normal epidemic curves and little or no signal indicating when anything like lockdowns or widespread mask use started or stopped.

            1. There was a second surge in cases two to three weeks after the mass protest super-spreader event, and a surge in deaths two to three weeks after that.

              But apparently no serious attempt to try to trace any case outbreaks to the mass protests. Although similar efforts were attempted for the Sturgis motorcycle rally and a random wedding in Maine.

              1. Yes, there does appear to be some signal from the protests. But really just a blip in the curve after the actual epidemic in March and April.
                People really need to learn what a pandemic is. It’s like some people have decided covid = pandemic forever. The actual pandemic is over in most of the world at this point.
                Now of course “not a pandemic” doesn’t necessarily mean nothing to worry about. But the emergency is over and now we need to get back to normal as well as we can.

              2. It’s become accepted “fact” that the protests didn’t spread the virus to any extent in any location. The virus knows why people are gathering, and only spreads in places where it doesn’t approve of the purpose…

                In a more realistic sense, it’s possible that the asymptomatic rate for the age range that made up most of the protestors (possibly 65%) as well as the antifa “black block” people trying not to have their identities and involvement known would make contact tracing an exercise in futility anyway.

        3. Their hospitals are inadequate in a non-epidemic year. Their idea of an ICU is 8 beds for an entire hospital.

          Thank government for limiting how many beds they could have and how many hospitals they could open. Limited medical facilities also limits community growth, especially in attracting retirees and anyone with a disability.

    4. What action should we take now?

      1. Now now, he’s not in the business of solutions; he’s in the business of DOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!

        JackandAce is Bull Connor in the schoolhouse door: Lockdowns now, lockdowns tomorrow, lockdowns forever!

        1. I was talking to someone yesterday who is about 40. He thinks it will be like this for the rest of his life

          Really

    5. like with schools closing.

      Our local schools opened to hybrid learning. Half the kids attend 2 days a week, all masks, 6 ft. separation, no drinking fountains, sanitation routinely cleaning bathrooms throughout the day, the whole nine yards. Halfway through the first week the local health department said the cases were up and that the schools needed to close. *None* of the cases are/were school related, the overwhelming majority weren’t school-aged kids, the 2-day lead between schools opening and cases surging makes it *impossible by their own metrics* for schools to have contributed to any spiking. Even if the schools did contribute it means *masks and social distancing aren’t doing a fucking thing to prevent the spread of the disease*.

      Some of the highest-paid mathematicians in the world have been trying to predict human and market behavior for decades and, still, the best general advice they can give is “Past performance is no indication of future gains.” but somehow, these nitwits who think biology classes make them better abstract thinkers have got this whole public policy speculation thing figured out. A magic 8-ball would be more predictable and principled as well as less overtly disruptive and even malicious than the dumbfucks making “public” “health” decisions.

        1. So you point to moronic school boards in some of the most left-leaning cities in the country as evidence? Try harder.

            1. Yeah, but those principals are NeverTrumpers, so they don’t count.

              1. Public schools everywhere are the province of Democrat-aligned interest groups. Pulling out different examples is never going to win this stupid argument.

                That a series of bureaucrats is afraid of having to do some extra paperwork or engage in any sort of potentially controversial is hardly a surprise. That’s basically the path to success in such a world.

              2. Yes, could be that. Since DJK blamed it on “moronic school boards in left leaning places,” here it could be idiotic school boards in right leaning places (Tennessee and Utah) where people are soft, I guess. And a swing state like Wisconsin where the kids just need to toughen up.

                But yep, maybe never trumpets too.

                1. Ha! Trumpets indeed.

        2. None of this in any way refutes what I said. In fact it suggests that if Chicago and Boston school districts forced their kids to jump off a bridge to prevent them from contracting COVID, you think other school districts should follow suit.

      1. The funny part about this is it’s kabuki theatre. It’s engaging in deliberate deception.

        Children aren’t vectors of the disease and if they get it aren’t, for now, in danger of it. Influenza is the bigger threat. THIS is the science. We have enough literature on it. Yet, we here we are. Masking kids in cages.

        All they’re accomplishing is to psychologically traumatize children.

        It’s the unions peddling these stupid measures to protect adults. Think of the children my ass.

    6. And yet when actual hospital administrators are interviewed, they say they’re fine on capacity. I don’t give a shit what some academic says.

      1. I’m sure you have sources? Go ahead and post them please.

        “I don’t give a shit what some academic says.”

        Thanks for rationalizing out loud.

        1. Are you really so lazy you can’t search?

          Or is it that you’re too stupid?

          1. Says the guy making bold claims with no sources.

      2. My cousin is in ICU as part of a respiratory unit in a big Montreal hospital. Under control. Except for two weeks in the spring, it’s been pretty much normal for the past seven months.

        Same with a friend at another major hospital.

    7. So the masks aren’t working?

      1. Nope. But people believe. They absolutely are sure masks are necessary.

        I just heard a good one. A dentist told my BIL how she has to wear a mask all day for work and that it’s not true people get sick wearing them. Maybe. I don’t know. There’s not reliable data on that yet.

        But I don’t like people in health care settings presuming that because they do it as a matter of being part of their natural protocols people in community settings can adjust to it.

        We’re not in those jobs. We don’t need to wear masks nor should we ‘learn’ to wear them based on the science.

        Good for her but she can go fuck herself.

        1. And people obviously get sick who wear masks.
          We now have large geographical areas to look at, some have mandated masks, some have never even recommended them, some recommended or required masks and then stopped. If masks do a lot, there should be some clear signals in the data corresponding to changes in mask use. I haven’t seen that anywhere. If someone thinks they do, I want to see. Otherwise, there is no good evidence one way or another.

          My dentist never wore a mask all day until this stuff started.

    8. Got tired of “Lord of Strazele” Buttplug?

    9. 10 cases to 12 cases is a greater than 10% increase.

  7. The fearmongering over the virus is inversely proportional to its deleteriousness. The less of an issue it becomes, the more our media and government will strive to convince the people that it a harbinger of the end times.

    The only problem? People are still capable of observing reality. Most of my close family members and colleagues have contracted the virus. Not one has died. Nobody I know has been hospitalized. Nobody experienced anything beyond the symptoms typical of a cold, or flu. Most of the people I know, have tested negative throughout the entirety of this “pandemic.”

    In sum, speaking from personal experience, the overwhelming majority of people in my social and professional circles never had the virus. Those that did contract the virus, did not have any issues whatsoever and recovered quickly.

    By way of background, I live in a resurgent “hotspot” in a city that has widely been touted to be ground zero for COVID-19. The only people masturbating to the drums of doomsday are our elected official and their media sycophants.

    1. The only problem? People are still capable of observing reality. Most of my close family members and colleagues have contracted the virus. Not one has died. Nobody I know has been hospitalized. Nobody experienced anything beyond the symptoms typical of a cold, or flu.

      The 74-yr.-old who holds arguably the most demanding job in the country missed a weekend of work because of COVID. Half of his staff contracted it. Nobody knows who contracted it first and whether it was at a rally, or a grocery store, or whether a housekeeper or a relative brought it into their home. The nearest death they can point to is a 74-yr.-old Stage IV cancer survivor who attended a Trump rally 3 mos. earlier.

      1. In fairness, that 74 year old also had access to the best medical care in the world.

        1. You’re going to have to clarify to which 74-yr.-old you’re referring.

          1. The one who was flown to Walter Reed to receive around-the-clock care. Just saying that the President’s response to treatment is probably not representative.

            1. You are right.

              The overwhelming majority of people do not require any specialized treatment at all.

            2. Just saying that the President’s response to treatment is probably not representative.

              So Herman Cain got ‘representative’ healthcare and Trump didn’t?

              Unless you’re saying that Trump was given the cure to COVID and is keeping it to himself, I don’t see how your use of the term ‘representative’ is anything other than nonsense.

      2. Everybody knows he died because he took his mask off for a split fucking second.

        He got what was coming to him.

      3. Fricken Chris Christie with his weight (and I believe diabetes?) survived it!

    2. Yes but those ‘observational realities’ experienced by ‘normies’ has to become mainstream in order to shift public opinion on a national scale and put an end to the fear mongering and measures that follow it.

      1. There hasn’t been an airline hijacking in 19 years, and they’re still putting people thru that shit.

  8. I thought we were already all dead from the end of net neutrality.

    1. nah, most of us had already died from ‘gun violence’

    2. We’re definitely not having this discussion since the internet has ceased to exist after falling victim to the greed of the cable companies without OIO.

  9. Elledge notes that his analysis did not adequately account for “the effect of comorbidities on life expectancy.” Since people who are less healthy to begin with are more likely to die from COVID-19, a calculation based on average life expectancies by age group is apt to exaggerate the years of potential life lost due to the disease. Elledge takes a stab at adjusting for comorbidities by including a calculation that reduces COVID’s YPLL toll by 15 percent, from about 2.5 million to about 2 million. But this is really just a guess.

    So doesn’t that render the entire exercise barely better than a guess? If they were not going to bother doing the work thoroughly, then why bother at all?

    1. Because there’s an election in 2 weeks, and nobody’s going to give a damn about crap like this once that’s done.

      1. +1000

    2. these types of exercises are always a wild guess and frankly completely useless other than to try and scare people into doing something.

      1. The entire basis of the insurance industry disagrees with you.

        Actuarial science is a highly developed field with real results.

        1. Actually employing that knowledge to better manage epidemic wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’m sure that health/life insurers could figure out some creative way to incentivize their customers to decrease their own risk for COVID complications.

          But that would require an acknowledgement that the disease can’t be stopped by cowering in place and praying for God to make the bad air go away, so terribly unlikely.

          1. It would have been infinitely better than all the power-tripping commies handling it. To get a more accurate number, other factors than strictly age would have to be adjusted, but insurance companies have managed to handle risk for hundreds of years.

        2. You act like you refuted him.

        3. Actuarial science is a field that utilizes established statistical metrics to come to its results. It does not stab in the dark and randomly choose a number like 15%. This is especially true when there is evidence that cuts against employing such a low number. But again, actuaries have something to lose when they are wrong. Academics don’t have any skin in the game.

          1. See Neil Ferguson.

            Someone who should face prosecution for his actions.

        4. Too bad that doesn’t apply to this study.

        5. They are also freaking ruthless and would assign a dollar value to those 2 million years of life, compare it to the economic impact of shutdown and say “sayonara, gramps”

          If you want actuarial methods to inform your arguments you’re full of shit if you won’t let them inform your actions.

        6. Coming up with a 12-13 year average years lost seems dubious when the median age of deaths is 75 and a huge portion of the older half were essentially in palliative care before getting infected. From what I’ve heard (from credible sources), the average lifespan for patients checked into nursing homes as “permanent” patients is something like 300-500 days; having almost half of the data set in that situtation should mathematically reduce the average dramatically.

    3. Good point. If somebody’s life expectancy is already reduced by a comorbidity such as cancer, lung disease, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease AND this also made them much more likely to die from Covid, this totally changes the numbers.

      1. There are studies out there that could have been used. A quick Google search finds that, on average, a serious comorbidity reduces life span by 3 years at age 75. The average covid victim had something like 2.6 serious comorbidities. Let’s be conservative and say the effects of multiple comorbidities is non-linear and reduces lifespan by 5 years total. If so, something like a 50% reduction is far more accurate.

        Granted, these are very back of the envelope calculations based on reading only an abstract. But I’m not the one pushing a quantitative study. This information is available and could have been employed. The fact that it wasn’t tells you a lot about the narrative that was intended.

        1. I should also point out that this is a preprint that hasn’t been peer reviewed. I would expect even the shittiest reviewer to require the sorts of calculations I’ve talked about above.

    4. He wanted an analysis to provoke an emotional response. Accuracy and rigor were not really a requirement.

    5. It’s a bad guess too, on purpose.

      If you’re 80 years old and healthy, your average life expectancy is about 10 years, and you have about a 5% chance of dying if you get COVID-19.

      If you’re 80 years old and in a nursing home, your average life expectancy is somewhere around 1 to 2 years, not 15% lower.

  10. That is much lower than the toll from unintentional injuries, cancer, or heart disease but higher than the loss attributed to suicide or homicide.

    Yes but I’m sure its much lower than a cold or the seasonal flu and those are the only two possible comparisons.

    1. Maybe. The seasonal flu kills many more young people than Covid, but is obviously still weighted very old.

    2. Did your mommy say it was safe to come out, JFree?

  11. I wonder what the responece to the Wuhan virus is responsible for between increase in suicides and ods, along with delayed treatment for many desieses and vaccieenes, and the added stress on small business, I’m guessing slightly more than 2.5 mil

    1. And will only continue to rise.

    2. And how much lower will the death rate be in the next few years because so many sick old people died?

  12. “years of life lost” ?
    Just another made up thing to pimp clicks.

    I have a computer model that clearly shows all Communist Chinese Virus infections are made up, and there has not been a single death due to that virus.
    All deaths attributed to that virus are actually suicides due to the fascists taking over. (except for the motorcycle accident)
    Since it comes from a computer model, it cannot be questioned.

  13. Few hours of which was at any meaningful productive work, so except for the human emotion of losing a loved one this doesn’t mean much to the economy. What does mean a lot are endless lockdowns and threats from shifty politicians.

    Surprised reason took the bait on this one.

    1. That’s a good point. Just because any death is a real loss for someone, doesn’t mean that it’s something that everyone needs to worry about/do something about. Public health should be about maintaining a functioning society with minimal disruption, not making sure no one has any personal tragedy in their life.

      1. not making sure no one has any everyone has a personal tragedy in their life

        FIFY

      2. MONSTER!

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  15. 2.5 million years of lost life sounds pretty bad, but watch this:

    328 million people * 1 year lost due to lockdowns: 328 million valuable years of life lost.

    WORTH. IT.

  16. Nobody who set their panties on fire over Benghazi gets to say that a quarter million deaths is just no big deal if you look at the actuarials. I mean… sorry Republicans are terrible? I’ve been trying to tell you that.

    1. Except that nowhere is preventing deaths, just delaying them. Unless everywhere goes full-blown New Zealand until a truly effective vaccine comes, there will be sick people and there will be dead people. I love the thought that Joe Biden can outsmart a virus, but he was running for Senate a week ago.

      1. You’ll understand if I don’t accept your pathetic “Trump is incompetent, thus there is nothing to be done” defense. Part of the damage he has caused us to build up conspiracy theories about the virus and deliberately exposing thousands to it. You think failure is actually success because you are insane.

        1. Tony, please never stop posting your stupidity. Every time you post, 5 new conservatives are created.

    2. “Nobody who set their panties on fire over Benghazi gets to say that a quarter million deaths is just no big deal if you look at the actuarials. I mean… sorry Republicans are terrible? I’ve been trying to tell you that.”

      Yess, we know you’ve been trying to blame a disease on people you don’t like, fuckface.

      1. We hire these people to manage crises like this. If the president were as maliciously incompetent and had a (D) after his name, you’d be all over it, and nobody thinks otherwise. The lengths you people go to. I’d feel for you if it weren’t so goddamn easy just not to be a Republican.

  17. Andrew Cuomo and Phil Murphy.

  18. It seems misleading to compare the ‘cost’ of covid-19 to the annual cost of suicides or homicides (or heart disease, accidents, etc…). Yeah, Covid-19 may have a big impact for a year, and maybe a residual effect for another year or two, but that’s not going to be the case year over year forever.

    Suicides and homicides are a problem not just because of this year, but because we’ll see large (and possibly similar) numbers next year, and the year after, and etc… forever. Covid-19 will be done and gone *as a pandemic* by 2022 (at the latest!), and whatever endemic viral infection remains will likely have negligible medical costs and consequences from that point onward.

  19. And how many were lost to the restrictions?

    1. Shhhh.

      It’s ‘DANGEROUS’ to discuss any other approaches!

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  21. Nobody who set their panties on fire over Benghazi gets to say that a quarter million deaths is just no big deal if you look at the actuarials. I mean… sorry Republicans are terrible? I’ve been trying to tell you that. autism therapy – themycare

    1. Bots are getting scary good. They recognize Tony’s writing and recommend autism therapy.

      1. Remember that “artificial intelligence” is not artificial, it is real.
        Just because the bots are made up a bunch of ones and zeros doesn’t mean they are stupid.

  22. All true libertarians should look to join true conservatives and have honest conversations with them and convince the majority to seek liberty, not security. I suppose that I am just living in a fantasy world. Oh, well, life goes on.

    1. I’m up for that.

    2. if only ‘conservatives’ actually cared about liberty. When was the last time conservative politicians did something pro-liberty. It’s big government all the way down on both parties.

      Don’t ask libertarians to join conservatives – that just gets us crap politicians. If ‘true conservatives’ cared about liberty, they’d vote for libertarian candidates.

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  24. “Elledge notes that his analysis did not adequately account for “the effect of comorbidities on life expectancy.”

    So then. obviously disingenuous nonsense, peddled for clicks.

  25. The study cited by Sullum is junk science because it falsely assumed that everyone who died of Covid had the same life expectancy of everyone else in their age cohort.

    In fact, virtually everyone who died of Covid were among the sickest people (with multiple comorbidities) in their age cohort, and most would have died from one or more of those comorbidities many years before the median life expectancy age of others who were/are the same age.

    Based upon the many different high risk comorbidities among those who died of Covid, it appears that most people who have died of Covid were in their last year or two of life (instead of the 13 years predicted by this study’s deeply flawed methodology).

    1. Three hundred thousand excess deaths in 2020 and counting. Trump doesn’t have to be president. He’s not owed the most powerful office in the world.

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