COVID-19 Deaths So Far: Where Is the Crisis?

I have updated this chart a number of times, based on data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, and will continue to do so. It shows, for one thing, how far COVID-19 has to go before it equals the average seasonal flu mortality, worldwide. If I had to predict, I would guess that it will eventually reach the average level. Will it get to 2x the average number of flu deaths, worldwide? Looking at current trends, I don’t see how that will happen. But time will tell.

Likewise in the U.S. You still can’t see the bar for COVID-19, but it is there: 994 deaths so far, per the CDC, compared with 61,000 caused by the flu virus just two years ago. The Wuhan virus might equal or even exceed that total, but it is hard to forecast that at this point. And anyway, the 2017-18 flu deaths barely merited a news story, let alone a radical, economy-destroying shutdown. What has changed?

Even if the U.S. death total eventually amounts to, say, three times the toll of the flu just two seasons ago–around 180,000 dead–what is the justification for the extraordinary measures our governments have taken, which are in the process of crushing our economy?

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