These deaths are not mostly “borrowed” from people who would have died anyway.
Nor are they mostly from missed opportunity for care because people are afraid to seek care.
Not by a long shot.
Again, the graphic made with the help of the Mass Department of Health and @WashingtonPost says it better than words.
These are ALL deaths.
Note how stable death counts usually are (below)
Makes 9/11 look like a blip on the radar.
And yes, the numbers of excess all-cause deaths more or less mirror reported covid-19 deaths now.
Those numbers FAR exceed usual nursing home deaths which, it bears noting, are basically immune to the deniers might say *could* be causing deaths for others by having the economy closed.
That's never happened. Not in any flu season. And not at this magnitude.
We've seen all-cause mortality go up in some groups before.
Like young men in the 1980s and 1990s.
This is causing FAR more excess deaths.
This is where tracking excess deaths will not only help us not open TOO SOON, but also, interestingly enough, it will help us not open TOO LATE! Why? ...
We WILL find people dying with covid-19.
But if the number of excess deaths abates, we will be able to say that the effect it is having on society is no longer "truly extraordinary."
Which it is now.
If we still have people testing positive and dying with covid-19, we may fail to notice that these are deaths which, while sad, were expected to occur anyway.
Docs are bad at that. We get that.
That's the POWER of tracking all cause excess mortality.
Following excess deaths is the least "political" way to do this.
You can't fudge it.
More people died. Or they didn't.
Currently, and please hear this, SO MANY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE ARE DYING.
And to *not* blame every single death on covid-19 (ie. people die WITH the virus, not OF it).
If we don't, we will stay closed too long (!).
So the punchline: