In New York State, 1/1000th of the Population Has Died from Coronavirus


This is close to the 1.25/1000 in Lombardy, which to my knowledge is the highest for a state- or province-level region. The typical total yearly death rate in New York State is about 8/1000. (As usual, one should note that measuring such things is imprecise business, and the reporting criteria may vary from place to place, or for that matter even within a place.)

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  1. Not enough imo. Good luck Corona-chan!

    1. Corona-chan??? Should I (we) be getting the reference?

      1. Patron saint of COVID-19. She’s the Slayer of Boomers and the Protector of Hikikomori.

        1. The old people dying are mostly not boomers. Mostly it’s the last of their parents. I am in the first year of the boomer cohort, age 73.

          1. Boomer (internet slang) means anyone over 30 years old. The people who claim fiscal responsibility and abhorrence for socialism but continue to bleed the government dry by refusing to reform social security, medicare, etc. With such political cowardice from Boomer politicians, what can you do aside from celebrate Corona-chan and her path of destruction?

            1. Got it. You’re a Russian bot. (Or internet troll, if there’s any difference.) Welcome to the VC. We look forward to more of your idiotic comments and your “humor.”

              1. My ancestors actually did emigrate from Russia and I am trying to subvert American democracy. Maybe all Russian-Americans should be forced to wear patches to distinguish them from real Americans. Remember, it was Hillary’s turn to be President!

          2. Stephen is right — anyone born between 1929 and 1946 is a member of the “silent generation.” Children of the Depression, it is a small generation.

      2. Well now that NY and other jurisdictions have muddied the statistical water by counting even deaths where no positive test was present as Covid19 deaths, we will never really know how many people died from this virus. when the numbers are finally available it will be fascinating to see how many excess deaths there are above the monthly previous years averages. Until then it’s all just politically inspired noise.

        1. Right-wingers just don’t understand Science™.

        2. Chip D wrote: “Well now that NY and other jurisdictions have muddied the statistical water by counting even deaths where no positive test was present as Covid19 deaths, we will never really know how many people died from this virus.”

          ==> You’re getting some insight into the inherent fallibility of death statistics. Cause of death is what a doctor or coroner writes on a death certificate. There may be — at best — minimal testing. People have a lot to do and you can’t pinpoint every death.

          But it’s worse. Standard death certificate forms provide three causes: (1) immediate cause (final disease or condition); (2) one or more causes leading to the immediate cause; (3) an underlying condition that initiated the events that led to the death.

          With Covid-19 the /immediate/ cause of death may be pneumonia or hypoxia or or multi-organ failure or whatever [physicians please help me out here]. Covid-19 may be one of the causes leading to that condition, or it may be the underlying or initiating cause.

          But it’s still worse. A reason so many deaths from “Covid-19” lack a positive test is that there have been /so/ many false negative test results. China fairly early switched to counting on the basis of symptoms for that reason–they couldn’t trust the tests.

          Frankly we seldom know the “true” count of a particular cause of death. We just muddle through as best we can.

        3. It’s not that hard to get a rough estimate, just look at deaths above average. Sure there’s some people who died not from COVID-19, but because the hospitals were overwhelmed, but that’s probably just noise.

          1. You’re right about the calculation, but the deaths due to hospitals (and ambulances, etc.) being overwhelmed, are not noise but, for some purposes, be considered Covid-19 deaths.

            1. Just how many extra deaths do you think occurred due to emergency services being overwhelmed? 5? 50? 500?

              For that period you’re literally looking at double the number of total deaths, almost 10,000.

              I find it hard to believe that additional non-COVID deaths are anything but statistical noise in the data set.

              1. It’s more likely at this point that there are compensatory lives saved, than additional non-Covid deaths; The precautions taken against Covid-19 should be generally effective against all contagious diseases, so there should have actually been some decline in deaths due to flu and similar diseases that were already around.

              2. Just how many extra deaths do you think occurred due to emergency services being overwhelmed? 5? 50? 500?

                I don’t know. I have read that there seem to be people not going to ER’s when they should, and normally would, for fear of either contracting the virus or not receiving treatment. My view may be biased because I live in the Boston area, and we have been hard-hit, with newspaper articles about c rowded ER’s, etc.

                My tendency is to think that it’s pretty much speculation until we have more accurate data as to deaths.

                1. Neither of has hard numbers at this point, but I really think you’re missing the forest through the trees.

                  Mortality from some causes goes down (flu, traffic, air pollution), others go up (depression, missed doctor appointments, overcrowded ERs), and there’s a real trend one way or the other, but I find it hard to imagine that’s more than ~10% either way.

                  The number of excess deaths is absolutely swamping those numbers.

            2. Few parts of the country have experienced a strain on medical resources. None have run out of ICU beds or ventilators. In most place, it’s been busy, nothing more. So the number of excess deaths is actually likely small.

              Against that you need to count the deaths due to anti-COVID-19 measures. We’re talking missed treatments, missed early cancer diagnoses, increased addiction, increased suicides, etc. Those may well exceed COVID-19 deaths already.

            3. Well, that’s easy to correct for since so far there have been essentially zero instances of emergency services and hospitals actually being overwhelmed.

              Except, of course, Italy whose hospitals get overwhelmed every couple of years just by influenza. The Italian hospital system is … not inspiring.

              1. Have relatives who are Italian. One high up in the military. He says many people died in their homes during the initial really bad part and were not counted, and that the Italian deaths were twice as high as reported. Of course I have no way of knowing if his estimate is true

        4. “it will be fascinating to see how many excess deaths there are above the monthly previous years averages”

          Don’t forget that unemployment and crashing economies cause huge numbers of excess deaths.

          1. I see you and Brett are preparing the ground.

          2. Some information from Forbes on suicides during a recession.

            A dramatic spike in suicides between 2008 and 2010 can be linked with the economic crisis, according to a study published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

            Researchers from the University of Oxford compared suicide data from before 2007 with the years of the crisis and found more than 10,000 “economic suicides” associated with the recession across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

            Also, let’s not pretend that there wouldn’t have been serious economic fallout from the pandemic even without the various lockdown measures. That’s pure fantasy.

        5. Here’s a useful statistic: how many excess deaths are we seeing over expected?

          That would take into account covid, but also fewer deaths due to less driving and less movement (which may be bad in the long run but probably beneficial in the short, causing fewer heart attacks in people at the edge.)

    2. These are the deplorables that are going to be replaced by their betters, right?

      1. Since you brought it up, they are indeed above average likely to be Trump voters, holding all else constant.

  2. Want to make a prediction on what the excess deaths from corona will look like by the end of the year? With confidence limits.

    In fairness, here’s my prediction: 0-0.25 per 1000 excess deaths for New York State due to coronavirus. ie, most of the dead would have died anyway this year.

    1. Am more interested in the data for NYC.

      1. Well, 64% of New York’s population lives in the NYC metropolitan area, and 40% in NYC proper. So, as a first approximation, assuming that virtually all the deaths were in NYC, about 2 deaths per 1000 people.

      2. Based on my calculations (using Johns Hopkins dashboard and Wikipedia population information) I get 1,739 deaths per million in NYC, or 1.7 per thousand.

    2. Given that the number is already north of .5 per 1000 I’ll be glad to take your action.

      1. Given that the number is already north of .5 per 1000

        The ultimate number of excess deaths for the year is already ascertainable? Pretty heady stuff. I suppose the next thing you’re going to tell me is that Minnesota is going to have a bare minimum of 20,000 COVID deaths over the next 3 months, regardless of how tightly they lock things down.

        1. Didn’t say that.

          I said that, based on the current situation, I’m willing to take squirreloid’s bet.

          I await his response.

          1. Didn’t say that.

            Actually, I quoted your very words: “the number is already”

            1. So what?

              Are you going to back squirreloid with your money?

              I’ll fade that as well.

              So put up or shut up, asshole.

              1. So what?

                1. Deny you said words in a public post that I then quoted.
                2. After a gentle reminder of that, shrug off the fact you said them.

                I guess it’s good to be able to be… erm, flexible in one’s positions.

                So put up or shut up, asshole.

                Sounds like someone needs a bit more fresh air in their life. Very soon now.

        2. What does MN have to do with New York State.

          And just how much below normal do you expect New York’s death rate to be the rest of the year?

          Are dead people going to come back to life?

          1. What does MN have to do with New York State.

            Nothing, of course, particularly given that I said nothing about geography. I’ll try to use smaller words:

            Faulty assumptions, blindly extrapolated, while employing zero common sense, generates silly results.

            I’ll wait for your reasoned explanation of why your declaration that, in late April, we can make any sort of reasoned conclusions about excess mortality for the year, falls outside that paradigm.

            Or, you can just curse at me and tell me to shut up again.

            1. First, the discussion was about New York State.

              Since you sem to have missed it, here is squirrelloid’s statement that kicked this off:

              In fairness, here’s my prediction: 0-0.25 per 1000 excess deaths for New York State due to coronavirus. ie, most of the dead would have died anyway this year.

              Second, given that we do have some data, it is possible to make some sort of an estimate.

              Faulty assumptions, blindly extrapolated, while employing zero common sense, generates silly results.

              Since I didn’t do any of that I don’t know why you have such a red ass about my disagreement with squirrelloid.

              What I said was that given the numbers to date his estimate of .25/1000 seemed far too low.

              I have, by the way, a comment in moderation (two links) that goes into that further.

      2. We can’t know excess deaths for the year until December. ie, anyone who died of covid-19 but would have died anyway of some other cause this year is not a statistically excess death. (You basically calculate this by looking at what the expected deaths for the year would have been without covid-19, and subtracting that from the actual deaths for the year).

        (For example, the ’68 flu pandemic killed 100k americans, but only 40k of those were ‘statistically excess deaths’. And the ’68 flu skewed a lot younger than covid-19).

        So no, the number is not already north of 0.5, because with an average age of mortality in the mid-80s, many of the people who died from covid were likely to die anyway this year.

      3. Also, you need to make a prediction yourself.

        My initial thought was if your prediction is wrong, you publicly apologize (likely sometime in January, whenever excess death estimates get published).

        1. Why do I need to make a prediction. You made one. I think it’s low. If I make one, and it’s high, that doesn’t make yours right.

          1. The rest is this:

            The CDC(go to Vol. 68, number 7) gives a total probability of 4.8%.

            If you knock down the 13,000 excess deaths so far by 50% to adjust for those who would have died in 2020 anyway, and assume that all else returns to normal tomorrow, you’re over .3 per thousand.

            Bear in mind:

            That’s a pretty extreme adjustment.

            Some of the expected deaths in 2020 already happened by the time the pandemic hit. The probability on Jan. 1 of a person who is 80 years old dying before Dec. 31 is not the same as the probability of someone 80 years old on March 1, say, dying before Dec. 31.

            1. The ’68 flu pandemic reached the US in September, peaked in October, and was pretty much done by december. It killed 100k americans, but the statistically excess deaths were only 40k.

              We’re talking about a pandemic in April which kills an even higher percentage of older people (the ’68 pandemic flu, like all pandemic flu, skewed younger than seasonal flu).

              1. You keep saying this, but where are you getting your numbers. The numbers I see when I google this don’t match yours. The only 100k number I have seen was deaths spread over a number of years. Plus, it started in roughly September 1968, but peaked in Dec-68/Jan-69 and was still way above baseline into Mar-69, then there was a second wave that hit in the 69-70 flu season which peaked in Feb-70. At least, that’s what one scholarly article I found said and excess deaths were about 38.1 per 100,000 for both seasons combined in a population of 205M for about 78,105 excess deaths over two flu seasons spread over three calendar years.

                But, even assuming you are right, then you should definitely take me up on the bet. It’s just more evidence that I am way over-estimating the excess deaths. I don’t think I am, but if you are working off accurate info interpreted correctly and correctly estimating C-19’s mortality rate in NY, you’ll be proven right and me wrong.

          2. Because this isn’t about betting on whether my prediction is right. It’s making your own prediction and seeing if your prediction is right.

        2. I have a comment in moderation (two links). The first link is this:

          According to this an 80-year-old has around a 5.8% (male) or 4.25% (female) chance of dying within a year.

    3. Is there any good articles or studies yet on co-morbidity data? I know that most deaths appear to be linked to underlying conditions, but it would be interesting to know whether how much time people with those conditions had left wit on average. People who just have hypertension or diabetes are going to live a lot longer than someone who has heart failure.


        At least some European authorities are claiming 99% of deaths involve serious comorbidities, and they’re not sure about the remaining 1%.


      Nice breakout by age. Sucks to be old, but that is generally true with or without covid.
      1: infinity not yet adults
      1:10,000 gen y and millennial adults
      1:1,000 gen X adults.
      1:300 young boomers
      1:100 older boomers.

      1. At age 73 I am almost as old as boomers get. Most of the old people dying in Massachusetts are notably older than I am, high 70s and up.

    5. I will take you up on that. I’ll give you 10 to 1 odds that there will be 0.8 or more 1000 excess deaths for New York State in 2020 which we can presume are due (directly or indirectly) to coronavirus.

      How I arrived at that as a lower bound for my estimate:

      In a typical year, New York state has from 148,000 to 155,000 deaths for an overall death rate of roughly 7.6 to 7.8 deaths per 1000 residents in a given calendar year. There are roughly 20,000 deaths attributed to coronavirus so far. I estimate that there will be, at minimum, 25,000 to 30,000 deaths in New York attributed to the coronavirus. Even if roughly 1/3 of 30,000 deaths would occur this year anyway, that leaves 20,000 deaths which is roughly 1 death per thousand, as already pointed out by Eugene. Leaving some margin for error, I think a safe lower bound is that that there will be excess deaths of 0.8 per 1000 this year using 7.8 deaths per 1,000 (crude, not age-adjusted) as the baseline. In other words, I predict there will be at least 172,000 deaths in total in New York this year. (I am most likely wrong if effective treatments and/or a vaccine become available very soon and the lower bound will be significantly exceeded if there is a second wave anywhere close to as big as this one.)

      This is morbid and hopefully I am way overestimating what actually happens. But looking at the available weekly all-cause death data from the UK, Italy, Spain, and what little up-to-date info I can find from the U.S. (only moderately reliable Info from early April), I see huge spikes above anything seen before. It depends on how long those spikes last whether it makes a huge dent in the yearly number, but I, with my limited lay knowledge, can’t see how the spikes won’t last for a month or two of 150% to 200% of the normal death rate.

      All of this to say, really, that I just don’t see in the limited data that is available that Covid-19 is basically only killing people who would die anyway. I think that is a false narrative with no real evidence to support it. (Yes, many of the people are old and/or have underlying conditions, but they are conditions with which they could live for years.) Also, I very much doubt the Covid-19 deaths are being overcomunted by more than 25% or so, especially when you consider indirect deaths that would not have happened but for either a Covid-19 infection or the Covid-19-caused stress on the health care system.

      1. which we can presume are due (directly or indirectly)

        Well, that’s game over right out of the box. With flexible enough definitions, you can create any outcome you desire.

        Even if roughly 1/3 of 30,000 deaths would occur this year anyway

        And again, your estimate of excess deaths is based on assuming that an arbitrary amount of deaths labeled COVID were indeed excess. After that, it’s just math.

        1. No actually he isn’t. He used that assumption to explain his calculation but the usual number of deaths and the actual excess will be discernible regardless of the cause they are attributed to.

          1. He is wagering on the actual numbers.

            1. Thanks. You have responded to LoB more clearly and succinctly than I would have.

        2. You really do not understand these concepts.

      2. Are you going to count as “excess deaths” the people who have been killed by draconian anti-COVID-19 measures?

        1. I’m certainly not counting those as excess deaths due to covid-19.

          1. How are you two going to determine which excess deaths were due to Covid-19 and which due to “draconian anti-COVID-19 measures”? Does the latter include deaths caused by the attempt to use hydrochloroquine to treat COVID-19? If you are going to make a wager like this, you have to agree to use a particular dataset in advance. If you start saying, “well, I reserve the right to discount the official mortality numbers in New York State by the deaths that I think were caused by anti-COVID-19 measures”, then you aren’t committing to any bet at all. You, undoubtedly, will assume a very high number for those.

            Either we are betting on the excess mortality in 2020 over the prior year’s mortality (or average of prior five years mortality or highest in last five years mortality, take your pick), or we don’t really have a bet at all.

      3. Considering the ’68 flu, which skewed much younger than covid-19, killed an estimated 100k americans, but the statistically excess deaths were only 40k, (ie, only 40% of those deaths were excess), i think banking on 66% of covid-19’s deaths being ‘excess’ is a losing proposition.

        Also, they have to be excess deaths reasonably attributable to covid-19. A spike in suicides due to the lockdown is very much not caused by covid-19.

        I wasn’t thinking of wagering actual money, but rather loser has to publicly apologize. But if you prefer wagering for money, I’ll take your 10:1 odds and wager $100 to a charity of your choice.

        1. Squirrelloid,

          You say: “Also, they have to be excess deaths reasonably attributable to covid-19. A spike in suicides due to the lockdown is very much not caused by covid-19.”

          There is zero possibility we will ever agree on what that number is ex post facto, especially with a wager (apology or charitable donation) on the line. For the outcome to be determinable, we have to use publicly available numbers from a single source. Trying to attribute “excess” deaths to one cause or another is impossible in the context of a bet. We need precise terms or we are just posturing and one opinion can no more be proven than another.

          So, I am saying all-cause mortality in New York State will be 0.8 or more per thousand above the prior five year average of all-cause mortality in New York State using New York State Department of Health statistics on all-cause mortality.

          And a public apology is fine. But we can do a charitable wager. Just say, but, again, it has to be excess deaths, period. No reductions for suicides, domestic violence, or whatever category you reasonably say could be due to the lockdown rather than COVID-19 because there is no way to objectively count and exclude those deaths.

          1. Well, i’d think we could just categorically exclude deaths from causes that are completely independent of disease, like suicides, murders, or domestic violence. (What you can’t exclude is medical causes of death like heart attacks, etc…, because those are the things you’d expect Covid-19 deaths to trade off against). Assuming the data exists, and easy way to do this would be to look at the age skew of a particular cause of death – if it is age neutral or skews young rather than old, it’s at least mathematically independent of covid-19 deaths.

            Public health officials have historically managed to calculate excess deaths due to flu pandemics, not simply excess deaths over all causes those years. So there is some methodology out there to do this sort of calculation, and I’d be willing to rely on a neutral party’s calculation of such a number if it were done for NYS.

            And I would hope public health officials would be looking to parse disease-caused deaths from lockdown and economic deaths, since that analysis would be fundamental to evaluating policy decisions. I was never intending to say we should personally do the analysis to determine how well our predictions did.

            I’m not sure I have a prediction on all-cause mortality, because I’ve been vocal about the potentially lethal consequences the lockdown and consequent economic recession is going to have. If the lockdown does end up killing a significant number of people, that hardly disagrees with my predictions. The real point of making predictions ahead of time is to know (verifiably) when you were wrong and to force you to change your mind. (If there had been no lockdown, I would take you up on your prediction, as confounding factors would be negligible).

            I encourage you to assess your prediction come January regardless, but you seem to be interested in measuring something fundamentally different than I am. If there are that many excess all-cause deaths, I will certainly be interested in parsing why there were so many. (And would hope to see published analyses about it from CDC and NIH).

            1. Squirrelloid,

              Do you see you have insulated yourself from your opinions being affected by actual data? There are methodologies that public health experts have for determining deaths due to a particular cause, but you have already argued against using those Covid-19 numbers provided by the CDC. And now you are arguing that excess deaths will also overcount Covid-19 deaths, though just one day ago you were arguing that estimated ’68 flu deaths were 100k but excess deaths for the year were only 40k:

              “Considering the ’68 flu, which skewed much younger than covid-19, killed an estimated 100k americans, but the statistically excess deaths were only 40k, (ie, only 40% of those deaths were excess), i think banking on 66% of covid-19’s deaths being ‘excess’ is a losing proposition.”

              But now you are saying no, we can’t trust the Covid-19 numbers but we also can’t just look at excess deaths because those are likely to be more than just Covid-19 deaths. What is your position? Excess deaths will overcount Covid-19 deaths or, like in ’68, will undercount them? Or does “a losing proposition” mean something different to you than the most reasonable interpretation I see of your statement, i.e., that you would be willing to bet I am wrong that there will be at least 20k excess deaths in New York State in 2020? You seem to be backpedalling rapidly.

              And, if you want, I will stipulate that we can exclude excess suicides and excess murders from the total. (excess = 2020 murders/suicides minus the average annual murder/suicides for the years 2015-2019). Again, using official NYS Health Department data.

              If you can’t agree to that, let’s just agree you were never serious about being accountable for your prediction in the first place and the whole “wager” thing was empty posturing.

              1. I’ll agree to your stipulation – statistically excess deaths excluding suicides and homicides. Loser publicly apologizes in an appropriate thread whenever NYS publishes data for the year?

                I do take issue with your characterization of my position:

                1. Those aren’t statistically excess deaths for the year 1968, they’re the statistically excess deaths attributed to the ’68 flu. That’s a significant difference.

                2. I’m not sure where I’ve argued against using CDC’s numbers. I’ve actually lament that they have stopped reporting infections by date of symptom onset. And I frequently wish they’d report additional information (like number of tests performed by date). I also wish they’d do what Sweden is now doing by distinguishing deaths “from” covid-19 and deaths “with” covid-19 – the latter is where they tested positive but died from something unrelated). But i don’t doubt their numbers when properly labeled as to what they’ve actually measured.

                3. I’m also not sure how I’m backpedaling. My prediction was explicit: “0-0.25 per 1000 excess deaths for New York State due to coronavirus”. I am fully willing to back that position, and it is not at all in tension with that claim to say that the *lockdown* and *self-inflicted recession* will cause statistically excess deaths, and that I’m not making a prediction about those excess deaths.

                1. Alright we are agreed that the “loser” publicly apologizes in an appropriate thread whenever NYS publishes data for the year: You if excess deaths (less excess suicides and murders) are 0.8 or more per 1000; me if excess deaths (less excess suicides and murder) are 0.25 or less per thousand; and, I suppose, both of us if the excess deaths are between 0.8 and 0.25 per thousand.

                  1. That is a big difference. Thanks for clarifying. I still don’t know where you are getting the numbers but not sure it really matters.

                  2. Well, okay. But I suspect what you mean is: And they aren’t properly labeling the numbers they are publishing so I don’t believe their tabulation of C-19 deaths. In any case, perhaps, you also mean that you will accept their final pronouncement on number of C-19 the way I presume you are accepting their data on the ’68 flu. That’s fair if that’s what you’re saying. You think the preliminary numbers are inflated by improper labeling, but you will trust their final data. I don’t agree the current numbers are artificially inflated (I think the net is an undercount for various reasons), but there is room for reasonable disagreement (especially among us lay people) on that.

                  3. I guess agreeing to the bet resolves that. Thanks.


  3. What is the death rate over the corona period vs the death rate over the same interval in a normal year? That would actually be informative.

    1. Yet I’m having a hard time finding anybody talking about it. They’re all talking about raw deathrates which are so haphazardly collected sometimes they’re almost meaningless statistics.

    2. Normally, 0 people per 100,000 die during each month. Unfortunately, Trump has really bundled this deadly outbreak of COVID-19.

      1. A normal death rate of 0 for every 100,000 people? I think you’re thinking of Asgard, not NYC?

        1. It was reported on CNN and the r/politics subreddit.

          1. You crack me up man.

    3. That would be informative, but I do think people are discussing it. It’s just that the data is still pretty rough. Here is one discussion.

      Those numbers come out to 400 excess deaths a day from March 11 through April 13.

    4. According to the CDC’s mortality statistics, national all-cause mortality thus far is the second-lowest in the past 5 years, as I discuss here. They don’t break out NYC in the current stats, unfortunately.

      1. Life of Brian,

        Your CDC numbers are not up-to-date. The revisions keep happening for up to two months, as far as I can tell. I originally looked for the data to see if all-cause mortality increased and by how much. (The UK, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain all seem to have more up-to-date numbers that show huge spikes in all-cause mortality far above historical and predicted values.)

        And if you compare the numbers from the graph you shared with today’s numbers from the CDC, there are changes in all the numbers from April and March (all revised upwards), such that the numbers for week 14 (which is the week ended April 4, 2020 on the CDC website) were, when I replied to your prior thread comment, at 101% of expected (56,195 compared to your chart’s 48,292 to give an idea of the size of the revisions even three weeks out). As of the time of this comment, the week 14 number has been revised up to 103% of expected. I think you are basing your assessment that “national all-cause mortality thus far is the second-lowest in the past 5 year” is based on faulty data. That was maybe true prior to the coronavirus deaths hitting, but stats through the week ending April 4th aren’t even complete yet, so the real numbers for April are going to be much, much higher.

        I fully expect the remaining numbers for April, at least, to be well in excess of 100% of expected when fully tallied and would be somewhat surprised if actual numbers didn’t exceed 120% of expected in at least one (and probably in all) of the weeks ending April 11, 18, or 25.

        Of course, even with all that caveat. What you have correctly identified is that the 2019-20 flu season was slightly below the predicted value based on prior years, which says nothing about the impact of the coronavirus as flu season was essentially over (though March can be significant) by the time coronavirus starting having a statistically significant impact in the US.

        I think you’ll find the story told by UK’s Weekly All-Cause Mortality Surveillance in Week 16 (Week 15 data) more up-to-date and compelling regarding the effect of C-19 on overall mortality. These numbers are also subject to revision, but they show predicted deaths to be about 10,000 for week 15, upper 10-z limit (the highest bound) to be about 14,000, the highest peak in the awful 2017-2018 flu season to be about 14,000, and an actual spike from a normal year beginning in about week 13 of 2020 to something more than 20,000 all-cause deaths in the UK in week 15 of 2020. That is, all-cause mortality appears from this preliminary data to be well over 50% higher than normal for week 15.

        C-19 is having a huge impact on all-cause mortality.

        1. Also per the CDC, from February 1, 2020, to April 18, 2020, there are 110% of expected deaths in New York State (excluding NYC) and 185% of expected deaths in New York City. Or, stated differently, New York State had total deaths of about 26,769 (w/o NYC) and NYC had 24,090 deaths over that time period, which means there were 50,859 deaths for all of NYS. Of those, 13,502 are “unexpected” deaths or deaths above the expected number which roughly matches the deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the same period. The over-counting myth is, in fact, a myth.

        2. Your CDC numbers are not up-to-date.

          Which I specifically addressed in my post — I clipped the last two weeks of reporting exactly for that reason (even though the CDC itself does not, and in fact uses the smaller denominators to make some Really Scary Looking hockey-stick graphs on their website). Beyond a couple of weeks, the subsequent true-up is in the range of a percentage point or two, which isn’t remotely enough to elevate this year’s numbers into the realm of the flu years in 2014-2015, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. But hey — let’s meet back here in a few more weeks and see how it all plays out.

          when I replied to your prior thread comment

          There’s no reply that I can see. Would you happen to have a link?

          As of the time of this comment, the week 14 number has been revised up to 103% of expected.

          What is this word “expected”? These are reported deaths. It takes some time for them to be fully reported (other than the COVID-related deaths, which are front-loaded and thus makes the percentages look even Bigger and Scarier). It appears this error infects the rest of your analysis, so maybe you should reset and we can go from there.

          1. Life of Brian,

            Definitely, all the numbers are in flux.

            First the link:

            Second, “Beyond a couple of weeks, the subsequent true-up is in the range of a percentage point or two, which isn’t remotely enough to elevate this year’s numbers into the realm of the flu years in 2014-2015, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018.“. The data you used has 52,285 for week 13 and 49,292 deaths for week 14. You seem to indicate you “snipped off” weeks 14 and 15. If so, I guess week 13 was is the most recent week you used, but that is also the week ending March 28 in CDC’s numbers which is when total C-19 deaths were under 3,000 so wouldn’t have been showing up in the numbers. Even so, since your post just yesterday, the week 13 deaths are now revised up to 55,027 (and increase of over 5%, in one day, four weeks later). Week 14 deaths have been revised up to 57,631 (over 8,000 deaths added). In other words, the CDC numbers are increasing constantly, particularly for the period during which C-19 was becoming deadly in significant numbers in the U.S.

            Just snipping off the last two weeks still undercounts significantly and, more importantly, doesn’t capture the effect of C-19 in late March and April.

            Third, “What is this word “expected”?” Per the CDC: Percent of expected deaths is the number of deaths for all causes for this week in 2020 compared to the average number across the same week in 2017–2019..

            If your point is that the flu season from October to February was less lethal in 2019-2020 than in most years from 2015 to now, sure. But that doesn’t have anything to do with C-19. Unless I am missing your point, which is quite possible. The interesting thing it seems to me, is whether, once C-19 started taking lives, the all-cause mortality is significantly above prior years. It appears this will certainly be the case. (Week 14 deaths are already at 103% of expected, so if week 14 data keeps getting revised for the next week the way week 13 data, the deviation above normal will get significantly larger. We would also expect Weeks 15 through 17 (at least) to deviate even more than week 14 because all sources say C-19 deaths are have been significantly higher each week since April 4 than in the week ending April 4 (week 14).

            1. Sometimes when I put links in my comments, they get put in “awaiting moderation” purgatory, apparently for eternity. But, because this might help you see the CDC numbers I am working with:


            2. First the link:

              There are still no replies to my post. That link displays no comment, nor is there a comment #8218952 in the HTML source for the page. Even tried multiple browsers.

              Unless I am missing your point, which is quite possible.

              Yeah, I feel like you’ve thoroughly burned down your straw man by now. The broader story here is that we routinely shrug off larger mortality bubbles than the one we’re allegedly going through rather than shutting down the national economy, and there’s still plenty of headroom in the data for that to hold. Secondarily, comparing all-cause mortality rates is about the only chance we have to cut through the labeling game we’re currently engaged in, where we count every death where “COVID-19” appears anywhere on the death certificate (and, in more evolved jurisdictions like NYC, “equivalents” of COVID-19, whatever those may be). Have at it.

              1. Life of Brian,

                You are saying there are “larger mortality bubbles than the one we’re allegedly going through” but that is exactly the debate. There is no plenty of headroom in the data for that to hold. Again, C-19 deaths were only just accumulating in statistically significant numbers by the end of week 14 and week 14 already has 106% of expected deaths. Yes, from our exchange last night until the morning, the all-cause mortality in NYS in week 14 was adjusted from 57,631 to 59,246. And we already know weeks 15-17 are going to be much larger deviations from the norm than that.

                I agree, we can avoid the “was it C-19” by just comparing all-cause mortality. Which is what I’ve been saying. And all-cause mortality is up, by last provisional count (subject to future upward revisions) by 6% over expected in week 14.

                I am not tilting at straw men. Your assertion is that all-cause mortality will not be higher than in bad flu years. I am saying it is going to be significantly above that (elsewhere I have put a lower bound of 0.8 per thousand excess deaths for 2020 in NYS (including NYC). What is your prediction? You seem to say excess deaths will not be worse than 2017 or 2018 (not sure which year you’re picking). If that’s not what you are saying, be clear what you are saying.

                The numbers will resolve whose prediction is more accurate.

                1. And the week 14 all-cause numbers are for the US as a whole, not NYS. My apologies for the error. In another part of the thread, I was talking about NYS numbers, so just slapped down NYS. Again, all-cause mortality data as of this morning for week 14 in the US is 59,246 which is 106% of “expected” as that term is used by CDC. The numbers will continue to be revised upward for the next three to six weeks if prior week numbers are any indication (they are still revising February data, last I checked). (New York State, obviously, is even worse than the national numbers, by the way.)

                  1. The New York numbers for 1-Feb-2020 to 18-Apr-2020 (still being revised upward daily) are 113% of expected deaths in New York State (excluding NYC) and 192% of expected deaths in New York City. (

                    In other words, a yearly excess of deaths is very nearly baked into the numbers for New York based only on data through April 18th unless, as some predict, all those deaths were people who were going to die within 3-6 months anyway. That seems a highly dubious proposition.

                  2. Also, by the way, these all-cause mortality tables for the US for Feb-April use the same data, I assume. These all-cause numbers include precisely 0 deaths (not excess deaths, zero deaths) in Connecticut in this almost three month period. Obviously, Connecticut numbers have not been tabulated by CDC for some reason. Other state numbers are also obviously incomplete as it would be remarkable for North Carolina to only have 38 percent of expected deaths from 1-Feb to 18-Apr. All to say, the true number of all-cause deaths will continue to be revised upward from what they are now. You, Life of Brian, have placed way too much faith in preliminary numbers that mostly capture the situation pre-Covid-19.

        3. All-cause mortality doesn’t just include COVID-19 deaths, it also includes deaths caused by anti-COVID-19 measures. If you keep statistics like that, the conclusion that you need ever more draconian government interventions is self-fulfilling.

    5. For New York
      it was roughly double in March. It will be worse in April since the number of COVID-19 deaths have already doubled in the 17 days since the article.

    6. Informative perhaps, but not remotely dispositive of what actual coronavirus-caused deaths were, because unemployment, stress, loneliness, mental illness, financial hardship, and crashing economies are all known to cause a lot of deaths as well.

      1. M L,

        The precise number will be unknowable, sure, but, in your calculus of how accurate the calculation of coronavirus deaths using all-cause numbers, you should also consider the lives saved by people driving far, far fewer miles and staying home thereby avoiding that stress and work-related deaths among other deaths that are less likely when people stay at home. This may or may not be a wash, but it certainly cuts into the increased deaths you speculate will occur.

    7. You don’t want to do it over the same period. You want to include a period after the pandemic passes, because you want to get some sense of how many people didn’t die later because they’d already died from the pandemic. Especially when covid-19 fatalities are highly associated with significant comorbidities.

  4. There should be a memorial made for the victims.

    1. Please! No more public works projects. We’ve already got ‘Piss Christ’ from the National Endowment for the Arts

      1. That was back when the left felt it proper to step all over a religion to shake things up.

        They won’t do that anymore, and in fact cancel atheists who question religion and its tenets, who they once held up as heroes, and feminists who dare speak relative oppression of women can be measured by how much they are expected to cover up, something they beat the drums for for decades.

  5. Gene, You may have different data than I do, but NY State population was just over 19 million in 2019. As of this moment, best info I can find is about 14,000 plus deaths in NY. That is more like One in 1350, not one in a thousand.

    1. Its 19,693 per “worldmetrics” which has some nice tracking pages

      1. I have seen worldmetrics. Problem is NY State dept of health currently shows 14,828. One of them is wrong, and I suspect it is worldmetrics

    2. As of this moment, best info I can find is about 14,000 plus deaths in NY. That is more like One in 1350, not one in a thousand.

      You’re looking at deaths where there was a confirmed positive test. The 1/1000 comes from the new-and-improved methodology that also allows them to count hunches that someone may have died from COVID “or equivalent.”

      1. All-cause mortality seems to point to the worldometrics numbers being pretty accurate. See my response to you above, just to April 18th, excess deaths were 13,502 per the CDC. This is roughly the same as the Covid-19 deaths for New York per NYS reported now, which doesn’t include three more days of all-cause data. And, importantly, CDC keeps revising their all-cause deaths up (which I assume are using the same underlying data on their multiple pages), meaning it is almost certain the 14,828 number undercounts the true numbers and worldometer might slightly over-count the true numbers.

  6. NY deaths are 40% of the US deaths but only 5% of the US population.

    1. 18 times more deaths than California which has twice the population.

  7. Over the past 6 weeks, what fraction of the population would we expect to have died without Covid.
    Back of the envelop estimates, life span 80 years, and 6 weeks of 52 weeks per year, 1 in 693.
    So yes, it’s right up there with cancer and heart disease, but it ain’t the Black Plague.

    1. I read some article about how we should estimate using life years instead of lives because an 80 year old dying of COVID-19, while tragic, doesn’t have that many years to live, relative to a 20 year old. This might reduce some of the hysteria surrounding newly discovered transmittable diseases.

      1. Unfortunately, society (justifiably?) reads certain kinds of callous commentary as pandemic damage, increasing the, “hysteria.” When you offer comments suggesting that it would be okay to adopt policy which makes some people die, because they aren’t worth as much, that leaves a lot of people in a position to get nervous, and not just old people.

        1. ok boomer, now do abortion.
          How many celebrities not only admit but celebrate having an abortion as some sort of empowering feminist action? Milana Vayntrub (very attractive body) was joking on twitter about asking the “doctor” when she could have sex again after an abortion. How can people have a real discussion when one group openly mocks the worthiness of unborn life?

          1. Congratulations. You’re everything Donald Trump cherishes in his acolytes. You hate the right people.

            1. Trump is another dumb old Boomer who’s out for himself. He just makes me laugh so I enjoy supporting him online. I’ll probably vote for that GILF, Jill Stein, if she runs for the Green party this year.

              1. That’s a distinction with surprisingly little difference. Stein’s signature policies have much in common with Trump’s, and she and her supporters hate the same people Trump and his do.

        2. Remember the lockdown isn’t to stop infections and death per se. It’s to slow the wildfire spread, which will overwhelm hospitals, causing needless further deaths.

          I’ve already pointed out how this is an interesting case study in meme shifting, as people see something done, and shift the reason it is bad to another cause. We don’t wanna get it, therefore the reason it is bad is because we might get it and die directly.

          Except that’s not why.

  8. I notice another statistic — that 58% of the US population would prefer a vote-by-mail option this year. I also notice that (a) one candidate (who is running unopposed) failed to garner all of the primary delegates in a recent vote-by-mail election, (b) the Surgeon General has the authority to close post roads in one or more jurisdictions, and (c) the President may [or may not] have the authority to “protect” postal workers in disaster-stricken areas. Given all four of those minor factors, is vote-by-mail a viable option for a presidential election? What safeguards (if any) are in place to assure that each vote cast actually makes it from voter to counter? Can all necessary safeguards be put in place absent Constitutional amendment?
    [just wondering out loud]

  9. And 2/3 or more are the five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding suburbs…

  10. Does it really matter?
    If the death rate is a bit higher for the year politicians will cheer themselves for doing such a good job in such a bad year keeping the death rate down from total disaster.

    If the death rate is a bit lower for the year, politicians will cheer themselves for doing such a good job in lowering the predicted death rate.

    If anything goes really wrong the rest of the year, the politicians will all blame Trump.

    Whatever happens the economy is destroyed. Either way, you are either dead, or screwed. Trump will be blamed for destroying the economy, not the Governors that did it.

    1. If only we had a centralized government, like South Korea or North Korea! We could have prevented countless deaths from this disease which spontaneously appeared in America’s nursing homes.

  11. That is not really an accurate reflection of the death rate. Thousands of people are still ill and some of those are going to die. Then there are thousands of people who have been exposed to the coronavirus. Some of those will become ill and some of those will die.

    Meanwhile it is going to take years for the economy to fully recover. 4th quarter credit card defaults were at a seven year high and that was before people were without jobs due to the virus.

    We cannot keep throwing money at this problem. We risk having unfunded debt service. The Dow is a lagging indicator. While the value is based on future earnings, those EPS projections are highly volatile at a time like this.

    1. Bobo the /biz/ Bear and I are nearly liquid. Just give us the signal to invest in the market.

    2. An accurate reflection of the death rate under the conditions of who is not yet entirely dead would be 100%.

  12. We cannot keep throwing money at this problem.

    What do you mean, “We?” Whoever you are thinking about, they cannot include people without money—an awkwardly large demographic at any time, and a rapidly increasing one in this nation now. Absent government throwing money in their direction, the situation among that group will promptly deteriorate from dismal to desperate.

    What do you suppose will happen politically if money for the desperate disappears, while their ranks increase? Your comment seems to require freedom to choose among national fiscal policies. That would be nice, but is it realistic? What if a blundering, crisis-prolonging approach to pandemic management squanders that freedom to choose, by prolonging the crisis?

    The interval available for effective political management may soon run out, while hotspots here and hotspots there lengthen the ordeal, and keep workers out of jobs. Sharper, shorter, nationally-coordinated management could still be chosen, and get the crisis over quicker. I suggest that would be a far safer approach politically.

    Conservatives will have to lead the way.

    1. I guess we’ll just need to pass legislation for universal healthcare. How else can we stop an invisible enemy that kills the elderly and forced the economy to a standstill? #Joe3030303

      1. Well, we’ve already got the UBI, so why not?

  13. A few points.

    1. The following chart from the CDC is most informative.

    1a. What’s pretty remarkable here is that the percent of expected deaths in the US is actually down as a whole. IE, we’re only seeing 90% of the expected deaths total. It’s sharply up in New York City (185% of expected deaths), and slightly up in the rest of New York State (110%).

    1. I wonder if that’s due to the (almost) nationwide orders to stay at home? I was expecting far fewer vehicle deaths, and a few more of the domestic paretner I-can’t-stand-being-stuck-in-the same-house-as-you-for-one-more-day type killings.

      1. And fewer heart attacks as people become more sedentary. This is bad in the long term but good in the short.

        1. And the corollary prediction: it will spike once this is over, and be slightly in excess of where it would be normally, due to a slight increase in average atherosclerosis over what would have been.

        2. “And fewer heart attacks as people become more sedentary”
          Very short term, yes. Longer term, no. Exercise is important to cardiac health.

  14. The ‘stupid’ is strong in this thread

    there are no ‘muddied’ statistics

    Between 3/4/2020 and 4/4/2020, 2700 more people died in NYC than in September 2001

    So they have blamed every death in NYC on Corona, and then flew 2 planes into buildings, and then, when that was not enough to cause enough panic, they flew another one into another building.

    2700 more deaths in that time period than the month of 9/11

    nearly 300 percent over the average


    1. “wake

      But …. comorbidities! I mean, all those people that are “dying” of Covid-19 are really dying because the gumming is secretly flying them in planes into buildings, right!

      Remember- the virus doesn’t kill people, the jet fuel that can’t burn through steel does …. or something. Man, I always get my stupid mixed up.

  15. Its all fake news, no disease, no deaths liberal plot to take all your guns

  16. People above are arguing about different numbers based on various assumptions largely to get agreement with their underlying political preferences. As the expression goes, they are using statistics like a drunk uses a lamppost, more for support than illumination.

    In fact, almost all of the numbers are highly speculative. Remember, a hundred years after the fact, the estimates of the influenza pandemic vary from 17 Million to 50 Million. We may never know any really numbers on this event other than its bad.

    1. We’re going to have much more data this time, much better understanding of the disease, more powerful techniques for extracting insights from masses of noisy data, and billions of times more computing power. The people doing this right (and those who listen to them) will have a much deeper understanding of what happened than people did after 1918.

      1. We also have lots more Trust Fund servants in suits to take the data and make it unrecognizable to people not paying proper attention, I.e., most of the people.

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