Mortality with Meep – Excess Deaths through September 2021 – Winter is Coming

Video description:

A look at the pattern of weekly deaths, all causes, for the entire United States through the beginning of September 2021, as well as: California Texas New York (minus NYC) New York City Pennsylvania Illinois CDC excess mortality dashboard: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/co…

Publication Date: 17 Sept 2021

Author: Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Site: Meep’s Math Matters at Youtube

What the Delta variant did to South-East Asia

Link: https://www.economist.com/asia/what-the-delta-variant-did-to-south-east-asia/21804360

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As news circulated of a worrying new virus spreading in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the early days of 2020, experts worried that infections would quickly reach South-East Asia and overwhelm the region’s health-care systems. Thailand was one of the main destinations for Chinese tourists; the first case outside China was reported there on January 13th, 2020. The first known death from covid-19 outside China occurred in the Philippines. A Chinese tourist who had visited Indonesia from Wuhan tested positive on returning home, suggesting he took the virus on holiday with him.

Yet it was Iran and Italy that became the first global hotspots. America, the rest of Europe and Brazil were soon engulfed. India got walloped. All through 2020 and the early part of this year, South-East Asia remained relatively unscathed. By the start of June, the region of 668m people had reported fewer than 77,000 deaths from the disease. Britain, with a tenth as many people, had chalked up more than 128,000. South-East Asia, it seemed, had escaped the worst of the pandemic.

Publication Date: 7 Sept 2021

Publication Site: The Economist

Social Security: Benefit Terminations and the Trust Fund Running out

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/social-security-benefit-terminations

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Through the mechanism of the Trust Fund, Congress can put off having to act on the fundamental demographic problem that they can’t do much about. They hope they can run the Magic Money Machine to cover all the goodies they want, and in 2034, the Boomers will mostly be over age 80. Maybe another pandemic will deal with them….

(and nobody cares about us Gen Xers. In 2034, I won’t even be eligible for Social Security old age benefits.)

Nobody expects the Social Security benefits to be cut in 2034, or whatever other magic date when the Trust Fund runs out. The only thing the current Trust Fund mechanism requires is cuts… only if Congress doesn’t actually pass legislation to “fix” the issue.

They have been doing ad hoc “fixes” to Medicare and other parts for years so as to avoid massive cuts.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 6 September 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

The pandemic’s true death toll

Link: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-estimates

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ow many people have died because of the covid-19 pandemic? The answer depends both on the data available, and on how you define “because”. Many people who die while infected with SARS-CoV-2 are never tested for it, and do not enter the official totals. Conversely, some people whose deaths have been attributed to covid-19 had other ailments that might have ended their lives on a similar timeframe anyway. And what about people who died of preventable causes during the pandemic, because hospitals full of covid-19 patients could not treat them? If such cases count, they must be offset by deaths that did not occur but would have in normal times, such as those caused by flu or air pollution.

Publication Date: updated 4 September 2021

Publication Site: The Economist

New NY governor adds 12,000 deaths to publicized COVID tally

Link: https://apnews.com/article/andrew-cuomo-health-coronavirus-pandemic-7312b49695e726eda8d59848e82271c5

Excerpt:

Delivering another blow to what’s left of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, New York’s new governor acknowledged on her first day in office that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than Cuomo told the public.

“The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what’s happening. And that’s whether it’s good or bad, they need to know the truth. And that’s how we restore confidence,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said on NPR.

In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office. The Democrat who was once widely acclaimed for his leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak resigned in the face of an impeachment drive after being accused of sexually harassing at least 11 women, allegations he disputed.

The higher number is not entirely new. Federal health officials and some academic institutions tracking COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been using the higher tally for many months because of known gaps in the data Cuomo had been choosing to publicize.

Author(s): MARINA VILLENEUVE

Publication Date: 25 August 2021

Publication Site: AP News

US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in pandemic last year

Link: https://apnews.com/article/overdose-deaths-record-covid-pandemic-fd43b5d91a81179def5ac596253b0304

Excerpt:

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

“This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.

Author(s): Mike Stobbe

Publication Date: 14 July 2021

Publication Site: Associated Press

Mortality with Meep: Huge Increase in Death by Drug Overdose in 2020

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-huge-increase

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In 2020, there were over 93K deaths due to drug overdoses — a 30% increase over 2019.

This is super-bad, and worse than what I have seen for increases in other causes of death. I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn’t realize it was going to be this bad.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 14 July 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Covid-19 deaths in Russia are soaring

Link: https://www.economist.com/europe/2021/07/10/covid-19-deaths-in-russia-are-soaring

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The number of new daily cases is currently around 25,000, somewhat fewer than in Britain, and rising. But whereas in Britain this surge has translated into an average of 18 daily deaths over the past week, in Russia it has resulted in an average of 670 deaths a day.

The contrast is all the more striking because Russia was the first country in the world to approve a working vaccine, one based on the same science as the British-Swedish AstraZeneca one and apparently just as effective. But whereas in Britain 78% of the population has received at least one jab, in Russia the proportion is only 20%. The difference is not the availability or the efficacy of the jab, but people’s trust in the government and its vaccines.

All of this could have been avoided. A year ago the government decided to lift a partial lockdown (Mr Putin called it “a holiday”), hoping to save itself money and to prop up the president’s faltering popularity after a prolonged slump in incomes. Mr Putin’s ratings did go back up—but so did the risk of infection.

Publication Date: 10 July 2021

Publication Site: The Economist

Mortality with Meep: U.S. Life Expectancy Fell 2.4% in 2020, and Death Rates Increased 16.1%

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-us-life-expectancy

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The Spanish flu pandemic gives us the demonstration of what happens when there is a short-term large increase in mortality.

Using Social Security records of period life expectancy, there was a huge drop in life expectancy in 1918…. and then a huge increase in 1919. But going from 1917 to 1919 wasn’t really that big of a difference.

The period life expectancy drop was 12% for females, 13% for males in 1918.

Then there was an increase of 15% for females, 20% for males in 1919. The Spanish flu hit the U.S. hard in 1918, and let up in 1919.

If you compare 1919 against 1917, the life expectancy from birth increase was 1% for females, and 4% increase for males — male life expectancy was down in 1917 compared to 1916, probably related to World War I.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 29 June 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Projections of temperature-related excess mortality under climate change scenarios

Link: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(17)30156-0/fulltext

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Our dataset comprised 451 locations in 23 countries across nine regions of the world, including 85 879 895 deaths. Results indicate, on average, a net increase in temperature-related excess mortality under high-emission scenarios, although with important geographical differences. In temperate areas such as northern Europe, east Asia, and Australia, the less intense warming and large decrease in cold-related excess would induce a null or marginally negative net effect, with the net change in 2090–99 compared with 2010–19 ranging from −1·2% (empirical 95% CI −3·6 to 1·4) in Australia to −0·1% (−2·1 to 1·6) in east Asia under the highest emission scenario, although the decreasing trends would reverse during the course of the century. Conversely, warmer regions, such as the central and southern parts of America or Europe, and especially southeast Asia, would experience a sharp surge in heat-related impacts and extremely large net increases, with the net change at the end of the century ranging from 3·0% (−3·0 to 9·3) in Central America to 12·7% (−4·7 to 28·1) in southeast Asia under the highest emission scenario. Most of the health effects directly due to temperature increase could be avoided under scenarios involving mitigation strategies to limit emissions and further warming of the planet.

Author(s):

Antonio Gasparrini, PhD
Yuming Guo, PhD
Francesco Sera, MSc
Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, PhD
Veronika Huber, PhD
Prof Shilu Tong, PhD
Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, PhD
Prof Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, PhD
Eric Lavigne, PhD
Patricia Matus Correa, MSc
Nicolas Valdes Ortega, MSc
Haidong Kan, PhD
Samuel Osorio, MSc
Jan Kyselý, PhD
Aleš Urban, PhD
Prof Jouni J K Jaakkola, PhD
Niilo R I Ryti, PhD
Mathilde Pascal, PhD
Prof Patrick G Goodman, PhD
Ariana Zeka, PhD
Paola Michelozzi, MSc
Matteo Scortichini, MSc
Prof Masahiro Hashizume, PhD
Prof Yasushi Honda, PhD
Prof Magali Hurtado-Diaz, PhD
Julio Cesar Cruz, MSc
Xerxes Seposo, PhD
Prof Ho Kim, PhD
Aurelio Tobias, PhD
Carmen Iñiguez, PhD
Prof Bertil Forsberg, PhD
Daniel Oudin Åström, PhD
Martina S Ragettli, PhD
Prof Yue Leon Guo, PhD
Chang-fu Wu, PhD
Antonella Zanobetti, PhD
Prof Joel Schwartz, PhD
Prof Michelle L Bell, PhD
Tran Ngoc Dang, PhD
Prof Dung Do Van, PhD
Clare Heaviside, PhD
Sotiris Vardoulakis, PhD
Shakoor Hajat, PhD
Prof Andy Haines, FMedSci
Prof Ben Armstrong, PhD

Publication Date: 1 December 2017

Publication Site: The Lancet

India Has Undercounted Covid-19 Deaths by Hundreds of Thousands, Families and Experts Say

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/india-has-undercounted-covid-19-deaths-by-hundreds-of-thousands-families-and-experts-say-11624795202

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India has officially recorded more than 390,000 coronavirus deaths, but families who have lost loved ones, health experts and statisticians say that vastly undercounts the true toll. Families like Mrs. Singh’s have been left struggling to get compensation that some states have set up for Covid-19 victims.

India’s undercount has also left a huge gap in the world’s understanding of the impact of the Delta variant, which health experts believe helped drive one of the world’s worst Covid-19 surges in April and May. India was the first to detect the highly infectious variant, which has hopscotched around the world. It is fueling a surge in the U.K., and is expected to become the dominant variant in the U.S.

The undercounting of infections and deaths is a problem world-wide, even in countries with widespread testing. The World Health Organization said last month that the global Covid-19 death toll could be two or three times the official number. The problem, however, is particularly acute in the developing world, where access to healthcare and coronavirus testing is often more limited.

…..
To qualify for its Covid-19 compensation payment of 400,000 rupees, equivalent to about $5,400, the state requires a report from a certified lab, which at the time were taking days to process.The family got a test strip from the lab indicating that Mrs. Singh was positive and rushed to a doctor.
……
Health experts say many Covid-19 deaths have gone uncounted among India’s vast population of rural poor, who have little access to healthcare or Covid-19 testing.

Mr. Banaji, the mathematician, says the central government has tended to praise states with low death counts and castigate those with higher counts as incompetent. “This narrative of success and failure centered on fatality numbers is very dangerous,” he said.

Author(s): Shan Li, Suryatapa Bhattacharya, Vibhuti Agarwal

Publication Date: 17 June 2021

Publication Site: WSJ

Mortality Nuggets: NYT Misleads, COVID Deaths Down, and Car Crash Fatalities Up

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-nuggets-nyt-misleads-covid

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I want you to notice something — the blue bars are the “with COVID” portion of deaths, and the chartreuse bars are the ones “without COVID”. The bars are weekly counts of deaths when they occurred. Ignore the most recent weeks because they don’t have full data reported yet.

The red pluses indicate excess mortality, defined as exceeding the 95th percentile for expected mortality for that week (so it includes seaonality). You can see the excess mortality from the 2017-2018 flu season, which was bad for a flu season.

The non-COVID mortality has been in excessive mortality range for almost all 2020 after March. But since the beginning of 2021, it has dropped off…. and COVID mortality has also dropped off.

I think we may be almost in “normal” range soon. We shall see!

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 13 June 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack