Just Some More Gibberish on Covid

Or one would think so, given people resist wearing a mask, social distancing and they want to party like its 1999. Song written in 1982  .  .  .   “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. I only want you to have some fun,” Covid.

Melissa Jeltsen, Huffpost; “The U.S. has entered an ominous new surge of the  coronavirus  pandemic, with   more cases reported on Friday (10/23/20) than any other day since the crisis began in March. And yet, in many areas of the country where infections are spiking, wearing a mask in public is still completely optional.”

Speaking of which, optional mask wearing and distancing? Even if there was no Covid, I would not want someone close to me. Here in Michigan, we have a special type of intellect where people quote numbers and they really do not know how they compare to others. One particular person cited the raw numbers for North and South Dakota and claimed it was not necessary to wear masks or socially distance there. He claimed it was proof enough for the bars and restaurants to go back to normal. Looking at the raw numbers does not give you a state by state comparison unless you convert to “numbers per million,” etc. When we look at the numbers in such a manner and extrapolate the raw numbers to numbers of people per million, we discover North and South Dakota are 1 (50,181) and 2 (44,922) in ranking for contracting Covid. More congested Michigan is number 41 (17,991) in contraction and again we are on a roll right now. State Repubs do not believe masking and distancing should be mandatory or at least when demanded by a female Dem Governor in Michigan. The Michigan Senate has been controlled by Repubs since 1990 and the House 80% of the time since 1992.

“Of the 10 states with the highest rates of new coronavirus cases per capita according to a White House Coronavirus Task Force report this month, seven do not require residents to wear masks. Seven of 10 reside in the South and the other three are South and North Dakota and Wisconsin. Illinois is the only non-western or southern state in the next 10 states.

Huffpost; In North Dakota, which now leads the nation in new coronavirus cases per capita, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has refused to implement a mask mandate stating he prefers a “light touch of government.” Last week (10/19/20), Fargo became the first city in the state to institute a mask mandate after months of rising infections. Overwhelmed by the increase in cases, state health officials are now asking residents to conduct their own contact tracing if they test positive.”

And what about younger people not dying at the same rate as older people? This morning in my email box was a briefing by The Health Care Cost Institute, The Impact of COVID-19 on Years of Life Lost. If you think being under 65 means contracting Covid is the same as catching a bad cold, guess again.

Summary: Since April, 1.9 million excess years of life have been lost and 13% above historical average. Over the course of the pandemic, we found age and sex contributions to excess YLL have shifted. Deaths among adults 65 and older accounted for 80% of excess YLL in April but only 36% of excess YLL in June. Since April, working age adults 20-64 have accounted for 47% of excess YLL, and males 20 to 64 have contributed 34%.

While most COVID deaths are individuals over the age of 65, COVID is also responsible for a significant share of deaths in other age groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10% of all deaths among older adults from February 2020 to August 2020 have been due to COVID-19. In that same period, COVID also caused about 9% of deaths among those ages 45-64 and 5% of deaths among those 25-44 (CDC).

The personal, social, and economic impacts of premature death can be difficult to quantify. Excess death rates provide a measure of the current burden of disease but cannot capture the long-term impact that, say, the death of a 40-year old married person with 3 children will have. Years of Life Lost (YLL) is a measure that captures both the immediate tragedy while also providing insight into the longer-term impacts of premature death on families, communities, and the economy. The calculation determines the number of forgone years that could have been spent contributing to society in roles such as spouses, parents, community members, and employees. For example, if a person dies at age 50, and life expectancy at age 50 is more 25 years, then the YLL is 25. In contrast, if a person dies at age 80 and life expectancy at 80 is 2 more years, then YLL is 2.”

An aside, if you are wondering why the Social Security Trust Fund has improved; Covid death rate is one clear answer to its improvement. On Tuesday of this week, the US went past 9 million cases contracted. By November 3rd, the US should go past 240,000 deaths.

The Third Coronavirus Surge Is Here And Masks Are Still Optional, Huffpost, Melissa Jeltsen, October 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Years of Life Lost, Health Care Cost Institute, October 2020

Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, October 2020

Health Care Cost Institute, October 2020