Excess deaths

The Economist has published many interactive graphs:

Although the official number of deaths caused by covid-19 is now 6.2m, our single best estimate is that the actual toll is 20.7m people. We find that there is a 95% chance that the true value lies between 14.4m and 24.3m additional deaths.

Including their methodology and source code.

This article summarizes: What a Single Metric Tells Us About the Pandemic:

As a measure of pandemic brutality, excess mortality has its limitations -- but probably fewer than the conventional data we've used for the last two years. [...] It accounts for huge differences in the age structures of different countries, some of which may have many times more mortality risk than others because their populations are much older. And to the extent that the ultimate impact of the pandemic isn't just a story about COVID-19 but also one about our responses to it -- lockdowns and unemployment, suspended medical care and higher rates of alcoholism and automobile accidents -- excess mortality accounts for all that, too. [...]

But the U.S. took the opposite course. In 2020, the U.S. had done a bit worse than average among its OECD peers. In 2021, when pandemic outcomes were often determined by the relative uptake of American-made vaccines, the U.S. did much, much worse than that. In country after country in Europe, the pandemic killed a fraction as many last year as it had the year before. In the U.S., it killed more. A year ago, it was possible to defend the American record as merely below average -- worse than it should have been but not, judging globally, cataclysmically bad. Today, it is cataclysmically bad, which is both outrageous and ironic, given that it is largely American vaccine innovation that has changed the pandemic landscape for the rest of the world. [...]

How did this happen? The answer is screamingly obvious, if also, in its way, confusing: The U.S. drove an unprecedented vaccine-innovation campaign in 2020, which empowered much of the world to turn the page on the pandemic's deadliest phases, then, in 2021, utterly failed to take advantage of its power itself. But what is perhaps even more striking is that American vaccination coverage isn't just bad, by the standards of its peers, but getting worse. About two-thirds of Americans have received two shots of vaccine, a level that is in line with Israel and not far off from the U.K., though below many other wealthy countries. [...]

But over the last six months, the country has had an opportunity to make up that gap with boosters and has simply not taken it. Only 29 percent of Americans have had a booster shot of vaccine, which puts us behind Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland and means that less than half of those people happy to be vaccinated a year ago have chosen to get a third shot through Delta and Omicron. Booster campaigns seem like an obvious opportunity for easy public-health gains, yet remarkably few Americans seem to think it's worth the trouble.

And here's an email exchange I had just yesterday. We are catastrophically fucked.

From: ...
To: jwz@dnalounge.com


I am vaccinated but don't have my booster, me and my friends would like to come to DNA lounge and I had a lot of fun last summer but haven't been able to anymore, is this going to change anytime soon?

Let me know,


From: jwz@dnalounge.com
To: ...

Go get a booster.

From: ...
To: jwz@dnalounge.com

I have had covid twice... I don't see the point

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Previously