(Part II of “Statistics and the Pandemic”)
May 30, 2021 — My preceding blogpost pointed out that excess mortality statistics show Covid-19 death rates to be much worse in most countries than are reported by official statistics. In this sense, the pandemic is even worse than one thought.
But the news all around us is already depressing. A consideration of longer-term history allows a more encouraging perspective on mortality — provided we handle the statistics properly.
A recent newspaper headline proclaimed that the 2020 jump in the US death rate (essentially excess deaths) not only was the worst in many decades, but supposedly surpassed even the global influenza of 1918 (“Record Jump in the US Death Rate Last Year,” NYT, 4/25/2021): “The U.S. death rate in 2020 was the highest above normal since the early 1900s — even surpassing the calamity of the 1918 flu pandemic.”