The Numbers

Updated May 5, 2020 - First Draft April 30, 2022

There is a lot of back in forth in the media and among the experts about the death rate from Covid, the number of infected and the dangers of Covid. The point is not to question the risk of being infected by Covid or dying from it, but with many numbers hard to pin down, there is one statistic that is frighteningly real, and that is the one that says the global economy is now tanked.  I would say the number of people affected by that catastrophe without a great deal of debate will run close to 100% of the population in some way, except if you are perhaps a lost tribe in the Amazon. If the real numbers from Covid do not prove to be as bad as forecast, will anyone take the blame?

Important: Anxiety From Reactions to Covid-19 Will Destroy At Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

NYT: Jobs Aren’t Being Destroyed This Fast Elsewhere. Why Is That?

If I were a lawyer, I would be rubbing my hands in glee to see who I could sue from this debacle, since those that create the orders to disable 100% of the population have left a trail of affected parties, all of whom have standing, so it should be interesting. The way the US legal system now works simply suing someone, whether the case has merit or not, causes legal fees to fly on both sides, even just to get to the point that the lawsuit gets thrown out. The legal cabal wins no matter what. All they need to do is dream up a way to create a lawsuit.  There are lawyers groups that actually share ideas and legalese on how to do that. At the same time, there are circumstances that warrant legal action, especially in situations in which profits are placed ahead of people.  The medical and pharmaceutical industries have their fair share of culprits.  Watch to see what your elected officials do about it, especially when they will have played a role in causing the damage.

The other problem is determining what caused a person to die so that eventually the data reflects the facts accurately. Since Covid appears to be a co morbidity, what is the cause primary cause of death? This article from USA Today touches on the problem.  Apparently in some states it is not necessary to have anything more than a pulse and no criminal record to sign a death certificate. Then of course there is the problem of paying for an investigation of the cause of death, also noted in the article.  If thousands of bridges in the US are need of repair with millions of people traversing them daily, where do you find the money the state does not have to pay for the cause of death investigations? Surely the problem gets even worse if the dead are thrown into storage without cooling until someone can figure out how to deal with them. 

Autopsies may not be done if there are sufficient medical records to determine the cause of death, and if not they still may only be done in a percentage of deaths. The cost seems to range from $500 to $5000 depending on the circumstances. 

Then this article talks about the the problems of assigning the cause of death without an autopsy"The presumed cause of death was completely wrong in 28% of cases. A non natural manner of death was present in 3% of cases. This study demonstrates that experienced forensic pathologists may generate erroneous death certificates for cases that are not autopsied."

If everything I read is correct the people most significantly affected overall are older and with preconditions. While we are sorting this mess out there must be a way to come up with strategies that separate the most vulnerable from the rest of the population with social distancing or whatever, using families that have people who fit in the higher risk categories to assist in taking steps to protect them, by social distancing, shopping for them, planning visits that have distancing built in, while letting those of substantially less risk get back to earning a living and getting on with their lives. 

While it is not top of the news, serious financial problems, suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, family violence are increasing and our kids are being damaged by the lack of schooling.  The follow-on damage from destroying the economy has to be even greater than Covid will be, although that is not being talked about.  Can we really afford to move a massive section of the population into additional duress on top of Covid, which is a condition we control absolutely.

I hardly think people who have jobs, health care, pensions and live in a wealth or financial security bubble should be the only ones making those decisions.  This is America after all.

Bloomberg raises the same concerns.

Rigid Lockdowns Imperil Public Health. I'm in a Position to Know.