We can't understand the present if we don't understand the past.

In this thread, you'll see what the past 120 years looked like for the USA. The source data is all available on the CDC website, though it was a real pain to aggregate. This chart shows monthly DPM since 1900:
These are the values I used for 2020. They were implied from weekly counts retrieved on Oct 3, so the vast majority of deaths should be registered for Jan-Aug. Future adjustments shouldn't impact the overall picture.
The red line you saw is called a LOESS regression. It's like a moving average, but more robust and tracks better with the center. It measures our changing expectation of mortality. Here we see only the positive differences (residuals) between the DPM and the red line:
This chart shows the residuals from the previous chart, but summed for each year from Aug till next July (12 months). Most bad months happen in the winter, so these values reflect how severe a season has been.
Here we see deaths/million for each Aug-Jul period. Roughly, this reflects the chance of the average American dying during the period. Note the alarming climb since the 2008 financial crisis - it's the only time there's been an upwards trend for at least 120 years.
These are the positive residuals from the previous chart after removing the overall trend. We can see by how much a period has exceeded the trend. The meaning is very similar to that of the chart in tweet 4.
Adjusting for population doesn't give a full picture. Age adjustment shows what each year would have looked like if it happened to a population with the same age profile. I use the population of 2000. We see a very different picture to that of the crude death rates.
Monthly figures aren't available by age group that far back, so I made an estimate by weighting by the proportion of all deaths in each month, per year. It's not perfect, but it should be close. Conditions have improved dramatically since 1900.
Finally, I'll sum the values from the previous chart for each Aug-Jul period so we can see what the known half of 2020 looks like relative to the past.
I hope this information gives you some perspective on what we're dealing with today. The conditions our ancestors dealt with daily were much harsher than even the worst of Covid-19.
We need to confront hardship with their strength and make sure we don't create horrible unintended consequences. I fear it may be too late for that, but it's not too late to change course and adapt to changing circumstances.
Check out a similar analysis of Sweden here:

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More from @VoidSurf1

22 Feb
SCB has dropped its final 2020 stats on deaths for Sweden. This chart is a breakdown by age for both sexes compared to 2018.

Most notably, there's no excess among children and people of working age, confirming the preliminary stats for males I had published earlier.
Here's the same data, but with spline interpolation applied to the 5-yr age groups. This just smooths out some of the random and cohort-related fluctuations. The picture is the same.
Unfortunately, the fact deaths are exclusively concentrated in the elderly age rage means that all of the deaths you see reported are pretty much all theirs. Fortunately, since they're generally retired, they don't need to sacrifice their livelihoods to protect themselves.
Read 5 tweets
25 Oct 20
We can't understand the present if we don't understand the past.

This thread will show you the history of death and disease outbreaks in Sweden. Source data was all retrieved from Statistics Sweden. Here are monthly DPM since 1851:
(repost - caption typo fixed + improvements) Image
These are the values I used for 2020. I've tried to be conservative - where there's a chance deaths might be understated, I've methodically adjusted them upwards. Also - I started this project over a month ago, so newer data is now available. These are still good though. Image
Winter has the most months with high mortality due to disease and harsh conditions. So, to make annual figures, I'll be summing from July to June whenever possible. This will give a good idea of what a season looked like. Image
Read 21 tweets
7 Oct 20
We can't understand the present if we don't understand the past.

This thread will show you the history of death and disease outbreaks in Sweden. All source data is available for download from the Statistics Sweden website. Here are monthly DPM since 1851:
These are the values I used for 2020. I've tried to be conservative - where there's a chance deaths might be understated, I've methodically adjusted them upwards. Also - I started this project over a month ago, so newer data is now available. These are still good though.
Winter has the most months with high mortality due to disease and harsh conditions. So, to make annual figures, I'll be summing from July to June whenever possible. This will give a good idea of what a season looked like.
Read 20 tweets

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