I noticed more than a couple of headlines today about the records of new cases of COVID-19. This surge is worse than the previous one. The rate of infection is increasing at an alarming rate. How do we really measure the seriousness of coronavirus in this pandemic?
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/02/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html Almost all headlines mention new cases of COVID-19. A few headlines are talking about hospitalizations. Very few mention the mortality statistics – how many people are dying each day. Or the percentage of people surviving this scourge of COVID-19. This article will discuss the daily death statistics.
Is the elephant in the room the daily deaths? If new COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in many states, are the expected deaths also spiraling upward? If they are, there is no mention of it.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ has daily tallies of many metrics associated with COVID-19. There are three areas where the new COVID-19 cases reported a rise at an alarming rate and then stabilize before falling.
All numbers in this article use the seven-day rolling average. After the first week of April, the average of the three highest days of new cases is 32,281. In the third week of July, the three-day highest average of new cases is 69,300 – well over twice the reported cases three months previously.
The third week of October reports an average of the three highest new cases per day at 63,085 – a bit below the July figures, but I want to compare the death statistics with the new cases. The average of new COVID-19 cases for the last three days is 81,715 – significantly higher than in July.
The daily death statistics tell a different story. I continue to use the seven-day rolling average. Additionally, the daily deaths usually follow the reported new cases by ten to fourteen days. I added twelve days to each of the highest three days of new cases to derive an average of daily deaths with or from COVID-19.
The third week of April has a three-day average of daily deaths at 2,245. At the end of July and beginning of August, the three-day average daily deaths were 1,164. Less than two weeks ago, the three-day average of daily deaths is 850.
Daily new cases rose from 32,000 to 69,000 to 82,000 from the highs of early infection in April until this week. When daily new COVID-19 cases increased from 32,000 to 69,000 in the April-July timeframe, the daily COVID-19 daily deaths fell from 2,200 to 1,100. New cases doubled and daily deaths fell by 50%.
Daily COVID-19 deaths have remained below 1,000 per day since August 22nd and below 900 daily deaths per day since September 4th.
Our headlines are stunned with the widespread COVID-19 infections and the positivity rates. South Dakota has a 50% positivity rate, Wyoming has a 43% positivity rate, Iowa has a 36% positivity rate, Idaho has a 34% positivity rate, and Kansas has a 34% positivity rate. For states with smaller populations, statistics can sometimes appear better or worse than reality.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/south-dakota/ South Dakota had a daily new COVID-19 case rate of around 100/day. This week, the seven-day rolling average is over 1,100/day. An eleven-fold increase in new COVID-19 cases resulted in daily deaths going from 2/day to 8/day which represents a four-fold increase.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/wyoming/ Wyoming, likewise to South Dakota, saw the daily new cases of COVID-19 go from approximately 10/day to 400/day – a 40-fold increase. Daily deaths have increased from a daily average of around 1 to 3 deaths/day – a 3-fold increase.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/iowa/ Iowa has a larger population than Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, and Kansas. New daily cases of COVID-19 went from an average of 500/day to 2,000/day while daily deaths went from 5/day to 15/day. A four-fold increase in new cases resulted in a three-fold increase in daily deaths. While nearly the same overall increase, the daily death rate is less than 1%.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/idaho/ Idaho saw new daily COVID-19 cases increase from 250/day to around 875/day while daily deaths increased from 6/day to 8/day. A 3.5-fold increase in new cases yields a 1.3-fold increase in daily deaths.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/kansas/ Kansas is close in size to Iowa in population – about 200,000 less. Kansas has experienced the new cases of COVID-19 rise from around 500/day to 1,200/day with a subsequent increase in daily deaths increase from 5/day to 16/day. The death statistics represent a 3.2-fold increase while the new cases of COVID-19 show only a 2.4-fold increase. The daily death rate denotes about 1% of the new cases of COVID-19.
Statistics can sometimes stun us into realizing something is great or terrible. Not reporting some numbers can be misleading. Coronavirus is real. It is everywhere. Staying locked in your home will not make it go away. When people start socializing the number of new cases increases because more people are out and about and daily testing has increased significantly in recent weeks.
COVID-19 deaths are reported as a patient dying with or because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Did COVID-19 increase the chance of death for someone with cardiovascular issues? Yes. Did that person die of a heart attack or a stroke? We may never know because death could have been labeled as a COVID-19 death.
https://news.google.com/covid19/map?hl=en-US&mid=%2Fm%2F09c7w0&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen is the link to tracking a lot of COVID-19 statistics. As of today, it is reporting 11,396 deaths and 1,068,577 cases which equates to a death rate from COVID-19 of 1.07% which is close to many numbers I have seen regarding the real death rate from COVID-19.
Is there still a concern? Yes. Will everyone die if they walk out of their house? No. If they get sick, will they die? 99% of those infected should expect to survive. Are those reasonable odds
https://www.mdlinx.com/article/top-10-causes-of-death-in-the-us-in-2020/MNpEowpA8DXKBUNcbmkpY identifies the top ten diseases resulting in deaths ranging from heart disease and cancer with each having a mortality rate of 22% or 78% of the people with those diseases will probably survive. Influenza and kidney disease deaths are below 2%. 98% of people with influenza and kidney disease will survive their diseases. Yes, eventually, they may succumb to the disease, but many fully recover or the disease is manageable.
Take care of your personal health as best you can. Avoid situations where you can contract the virus from others. The younger you are, the better odds you have for surviving COVID-19.
And when you see headlines that give you that feeling of doom and gloom, do they include the daily death trends, especially relating to the trends of new COVID-19 cases and the trends in surviving the disease? If not, it may not be as bad as you think.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com