Covid19 Update, October 21. The state of things and a wonder if we are about the turn that corner, finally. We can hope, right?
We all know by now what is coming here in a series of annotated charts. These views are parsed into what we think we know (1), what we think we know and a short forward view (2), modeling to get that forward view (3), and US mortality from this novel virus (4).
- What we think we know:
Obviously, as far as new daily infections, the US is experiencing its 3rd wave, post Labor Day and back to school in many areas. We know that at least half of the US states are seeing a growing number of infections and a handful are at record levels.
Mortality however is flattening if not declining. I see a large part of that trend as improvements in medical protocol in a completely stretched medical community, seniors and others doing the right thing to protect themselves, and the fact that most new infections are in the below 45 age group that has a lower mortality rate to Covid19.
- What we think we know and a short forward look:
Clearly, a sustained decline in new infections has been slow in coming, but I believe we will get there even before a vaccine. Rural regions are now being the hardest hit. US Covid19 mortality continues to march forward, unfortunately impacting minorities preferentially. At least mortality rates are in decline and the number of daily deaths has flattened somewhat.
I continue to model a turnover in new daily infections. Clearly, should that happen as I model it, mortality will follow. My hope is that this 3rd rise is close to stalling out.
Please read the details, note the difference in how I have calculated US mortality rates (MR) here. Note the first chart in this set uses the flawed straight across rate of cumulative divided by cumulative, as we know. I think it better to view the 6-day lagged mortality rate as being closer to what is happening now.
Now read this:
“We find that the death rate has gone down substantially,” says Leora Horwitz, a doctor who studies population health at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and an author on one of the studies, which looked at thousands of patients from March to August.
The study, which was of a single health system, finds that mortality has dropped among hospitalized patients by 18 percentage points since the pandemic began. Patients in the study had a 25.6% chance of dying at the start of the pandemic; they now have a 7.6% chance.
That’s a big improvement, but 7.6% is still a high risk compared with other diseases, and Horwitz and other researchers caution that COVID-19 remains dangerous.
The death rate “is still higher than many infectious diseases, including the flu,” Horwitz says. And those who recover can suffer complications for months or even longer. “It still has the potential to be very harmful in terms of long-term consequences for many people.”
The US continues to lead the world in known Covid19 infections and in deaths, even as the 2.67% SA MR is just under the global average. As we know, 6-day lagged MR has declined since mid-April from ~7.0% of those known to be infected to now moving toward 2.50%.
Also, thank you to @sweetgrass for posting above the timely Reuters article about CDC observations on general US 2020 mortality. We know the US has experienced over 225,000 known Covid19 deaths, yet the sum of data collected and analyzed by CDC reveals about 75,000 more deaths that usual so far. Some of those are likely Covid19 deaths, or in some way related (e.g., suicide). That means not only are Covid19 infections under reported (likely 8 to 15% of the population than the 2.56% reported), so is mortality. Sobering.
Remember, when we are careless by not wearing a mask or observing social distancing, the unintended consequence is how much more stress we place on already over stressed medical personnel.
So, please help a brotha’ out. Be safe, stay safe.