COVID-19 stats from the CDC

Non-car discussion, now for everyone
Post Reply
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

COVID-19 stats from the CDC

Post by kevm14 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:45 am

Source pulled from here:

I mostly played with graphing the stuff shown in Table 2
Table 2. Deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pneumonia, and influenza reported to NCHS by age group, United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to 4/11/2020.*
It is lagging but I am going to assume that the proportion of all of these numbers (i.e. the percentages and distributions) is very similar to what is happening right now. I think this is a reasonable assumption.

Most of what I am going to show is the following:
- Chance of death under age 45 is very low
- Older people are dying at outsized proportion to younger people but it turns out older people are more likely to die from anything and I show that COVID-19 is mostly proportional to the chance of dying from anything when looking at older demographics.
- Why should we compare COVID-19 deaths to all deaths? Because we need to understand the context of the deaths and not interpret them in a vacuum, especially when making judgements of risk or public policy/guidelines.
- I think it is right to talk about reopening the economy/society and probably socially distance the most vulnerable members of the population, as they are now.

I'll lead with this. The deadliness, taken in a vacuum, is vastly more deadly to older people and as I said before that's because they tend to have more underlying health conditions.
% of COVID19 deaths per age group.png
% of COVID19 deaths per age group.png (9.38 KiB) Viewed 449 times

However, when we look at ALL deaths from any cause during this same time period, we see something very familiar. We basically see two things: 1) Over 45 (maybe over 35) the trend looks almost identical and 2) Under 45 (well maybe 35) the deaths from other causes significantly outperform COVID19 deaths, when compared to the 35+ or 45+ age groups.
% of total deaths per age group.png
% of total deaths per age group.png (10.49 KiB) Viewed 448 times

Let's look at a few more from different angles and see if we can extract anything useful.

So on average, during the same time period, COVID19 was responsible for 2.25% of all deaths during this same time period. OK, that's the average and that feels fairly low to me but it does seem like it would be higher if we didn't do the lockdown, so that's fair. But now look at how it is distributed by age group. The rates don't even hit 1% of total deaths until the 25-34 age group. 35-44 is on its way to 2% which is still below the average. And then 45+ all hovers around the average. What does this mean? It means that COVID19 does NOT kill proportionally more people as age increases past 45 when normalizing for all other causes of death. It means you are no more likely to die of COVID19 at age 80 than age 50, it's just that 80 year-olds are more likely to die of something/anything in the first place. In other words, your chances of dying from something OTHER than COVID19 at 45+ are all about the same. Which I have graphed more directly later.
COVID19 % of death compared to all death per age group.png

This is a variation of the third plot but stacks the COVID19 deaths on the same graph as all deaths, per age group. It's a good visual to show the death rate from COVID19 contrasted to other deaths. If no one was dying from anything, and then COVID19 came along, this would look way different. We originally thought it could be in the millions and if that was the data we had, we acted accordingly. But it turns out the models vastly overestimated the number of ventilators and stuff that we'd need - even as the models ALREADY TOOK INTO ACCOUNT the mass social distancing program. So that means one or more assumptions in the model was wrong, and that's probably the death rate/how likely the symptoms are to be severe. It think this will bear out when we do antibody tests.
COVID19 deaths vs all deaths stacked plot per age group.png

In the Netherlands, a study revealed that 18x more people had the virus than the COVID19 test numbers revealed, lowering the death rate from 11.x% down to like 0.6%.
Source: ... SKCN21Y102

This matters because they were criticized for limiting their lockdown and trying to go for more of a herd immunity approach.

To me it seems like their hypothesis is probably more right than wrong despite all of the outrage and negative media coverage, which was based on the 10+% death numbers.

Do I think an order of magnitude times 2 should result in a different policy calculus? You're damn right I do and it should. If you're having problems squaring this hard data from your emotional state watching media coverage, that's because the media coverage has been overwhelmingly angled to frighten you, whether they have an agenda or just want clicks. It's likely both.

I took the same age groups I used in top 2 plots and calculated the multiple of likelihood that you will die from something OTHER than COVID19. This is just an inversion of the COVID19 death rate but different cuts help process the data I think. In this view even the older demographics are 40-43x more likely to die from something else. And under 35 it really spikes to over 160x.
Likelihood of dying from something other than COVID19 per age group.png

Finally, another view but with all of the CDC age groups. Again what we see is the exponential likelihood that COVID19 is probably not a concern the younger (and of course healthier) you are. What I get from this is kids should be going to school and probably not interacting with their grandparents (they aren't doing that now so no change).
Likelihood of dying from something other than COVID19 all age groups.png

Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:16 am

Re: COVID-19 stats from the CDC

Post by dochielomn » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:42 am

But aren't these numbers just based off of the people that have tested positive for the virus? So, you don't completely know in which direction they would go if everyone actually got it. I know that we rely on stats the best we can in order to predict future results but it's still just a small sample of the entire population. I think the scary thing is that perfectly healthy people can die from contracting this virus. I mean, if you knew someone in your immediate family contracted it and died from it who was previously relatively healthy and you knew it could have been avoided if they just stayed indoors for a little longer, wouldn't you be a little upset about that?

With that being said, I know I'm reaching my breaking point with all of this and really want to go back to normal. I'm almost at the point where I think we should have just infected everyone weeks ago and then all of this would be over in theory (and deal with the consequences as they turn up, but with that being said, if my wife or daughter died because of that, i'd be crushed and would feel extremely guilty). However, I do understand the whole shelters in place are more about not increasing the infection rate and not increasing the hospitalization rates (because hospitals can't support everyone being sick at the same time- both from equipment and manpower). But at the same point, if they were originally saying that 70% of the population would get it and from that 70% only 20% would require hospitalization and from that 20% maybe 5% ends up being terminal, well, under different circumstances, don't you kind of take those odds?

What's kind of surprising to me (that a coworker pointed out) is that the US really didn't have a proper plan in place for a biological attack. If this was some terrorist act (either from a group of a country), it just shows how we didn't have any real plans in place for how to deal with a biological attack. Which is kind of surprising and scary.

Ultimately to me right now, this feels like being trapped on the highway in traffic and just watching a digital sign say X amount of miles with Y amount of minutes except the Y just keeps going up and up to the point where you think there is no relief in sight. Sure, numbers appear to be going down in some places (like in NY) but it fees like the dates they're talking about just keep getting pushed more to the right. I'd almost rather not be given a date and just be told that it's "indefinite" then told April 20th, then no no no, April 30th, then no no no May 15th. Just waiting for May 15th to turn into June and then July and so on.

With all of this being said, here are a few pictures I've found funny throughout all of this:
Charlie Brown and COVID19.jpg

Post Reply