COVID-19-Another way of looking at the numbers

The question has come up quite often in the media and elsewhere regarding the exact death toll due to COVID-19.

There are many cases (likely a majority) where a person’s death has been attributed to COVID-19.  Is it possible that some of them are dying and the virus just hastened their death (i.e. they might have died within weeks or months anyway)? Should these be counted? I mean, perhaps a lot of older people, in general are dying, due in part to the flu, but that is never credited?

In light of that, I would like to propose another way to estimate; a way in which I have not seen or heard anybody mention (though I am sure those advocates are out there).

We should be able to estimate the number of COVID deaths by way of subtracting TOTAL deaths for some area by EXPECTED TOTAL deaths for that area. So, for example, assume that a small city in New York over the last 50 months of March has had x1, x2, …. x50 deaths.  A good mathematician can project for this year what should have happened. He can allow for anything that might be relevant. A time trend factor might be used. Can do by per capita, etc. If one then projects 130, and there are 150, and we believe we have allowed for every other reasonable factor, then we can deduce that 20 died from COVID 19. Now, we might miss big on any given city. But if we do this for 100 cities, we should be pretty close/

Now, this misses on how many people are affected since it is only trying to tease out the COVID-19 deaths.  I am not even saying that it is a better way of doing it as they are now.  But it would complement the findings that are currently out there.

As it is now, many people are skeptical as the real count.  As of this writing, the world wide deaths are a little over 114, 000 deaths.  But how many again, how many are there really?  Some people believe it might be half of that.  My method would, to some extent confirm the general findings.

One thought on “COVID-19-Another way of looking at the numbers

  1. DaveB April 19, 2020 / 5:36 pm

    Agree. They can keep tracking with whatever logic they’re using, but looking back in a month or so, comparing historical/expected deaths would be a good check and probable a better overall estimate


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