Far from the cable studios, happily, researchers are seeking a more serious understanding of the pandemic’s toll. One study finds that those who died of Covid-19 lost on average 9.3 years of life, equal to the remaining life expectancy of a 78-year-old.
The highest-cost deaths, it follows, were likely those not directly caused by the illness. In separate studies, U.S. government and Virginia Commonwealth University researchers say a third of “excess deaths” might fall into this category — delayed medical care, unemployment stress, substance abuse, suicide, depression, etc. One study looked at the effect of unemployment and predicted 30,231 additional deaths over a 12-month period.
What does this mean? Suppose half of these were unrecognized Covid deaths. Even so, the remaining half — accounting for 15% of excess deaths — would have to be no younger than 53 on average for fully one-third of the years lost in the pandemic to have been lost by somebody who didn’t die of Covid.
Author(s): Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
Publication Date: 12 March 2021
Publication Site: Wall Street Journal