The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

April 11th US Covid Data

The chart has been changed a bit to allow it to fit cleanly. Bars every two days and a stacked graph.

In terms of accuracy, from April 1st to 5th, New York pulled 1,125 dead people out of houses. That is eight times more than normal, so we can assume that 984 are people who wouldn’t have died without the pandemic (which doesn’t mean they all died from Covid-19.)

The official death rate for those five days was 2,223, so the undercount was about 40 percent.

We can assume that many bodies of people who live alone, or couples who died at about the same time (remember that towards the end of Covid-19 you can’t move) remain to be discovered.

In hospitals, deaths are often only being counted as Covid-19 if there was a test confirming it.

I still suspect the number, when population studies come out, will be about double official initial counts.

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Open Thread


April 12th US Covid Data


  1. Aqua Lung

    It’s clear the virus is an entity of sorts and Trump is obviously jealous of the attention it’s getting. Remember, first and foremost, Trump is a publicity hound, be that publicity positive or negative.

    He’s a spectacle but so too is the virus, although the virus doesn’t consciously seek and solicit the attention, and the two are directly competing on the world stage for the world’s attention.

    Trump, as much as he would like and is trying to do, cannot ignore the virus because in doing so he loses to the virus the competition for the world’s attention. Trump ignoring the virus makes the virus grow stronger and more virulent and all its attendant consequences such as massive death and the destruction of the world economy.

    The virus is the only thing that can and will bring Trump to his knees and lay him low for Trump will do everything, he can’t help it because like the scorpion it’s in his nature and it’s all he knows how to do, to make it stronger and more powerful.

    Trump has met his match and his supporters will perish with him. Unfortunately, what’s left in that wake is that quote I deposited from Outer Dark in the other thread. As Ian has so often said, it didn’t have to be this way. But it is.

  2. Stirling S Newberry

    “Double” is the guesstimate from many who are working on this. Since there are many different sources pointing to this, it seems reasonable as a first pass.

  3. Mean whiles, back on the ranch …

    Two other escalating global problems that our planet is faced with are the climate crisis and wildlife mass extermination that we, humans, are responsible for. Unfortunately, discussions on the genesis of and response to these crises have perpetually suffered from a sense of abstraction. Some of these, however, can now be appreciated far better in the context of how the virus outbreak is playing out.

    The Genesis  –

    The meteoric (exponential) rise in our want for new resources has made us invade and destroy natural habitats for their extraction, and the consequences of their use and disposal have been escalating greenhouse gas emissions, desertification, air and water pollution. This is the genesis of the anthropogenic global problems of climate change and wildlife mass extermination. Continuing business-as-usual for much longer spells disaster for all life on this planet, and will precipitate a vastly greater scale of tragedy than the coronavirus.

    The Response

    Climate activists have been demanding for decades many of the behavioural changes that Covid-19 has suddenly effected. Scientists have been sounding increasingly urgent alarms about the deadly consequences of our rapidly degrading environment and the climate crisis. Yet, complacency, if not outright refusal, has marked the response by most countries. One of the tactics used to delay climate action is to talk up the uncertainties that persist in quantifying the consequences of climate change. Particularly so at regional or local scales that are relatable and pertinent to each of us. The fact is that there is considerably greater range in climate model projections of future sea level rise around the Mumbai, Cape Town or New York City coastline than the range in projections of the rise in the global average sea level.

    Given the more perceptible threat of Covid-19, uncertainties in how it may spread in our region has not stopped countries from taking forceful precautionary action, despite dire warnings of an economic recession. That brings us to the “precautionary principle”: faced with potentially catastrophic or irreversible events about which scientific knowledge may be incomplete, it emphasizes caution. Covid-19 has arguably achieved more in 3 months to teach us that than climate activists have managed to do over decades. Will we learn? Or, once past this crisis, will history repeat itself, simultaneously as a tragedy and a farce?

  4. Hugh

    Stirling, it is a classic of its kind.

    “I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings…But”

    Note the use of the agentless passive, the weasely “if people feel” as in for some nebulous tendentious group wanting to make a weak and highly debatable point, and the coup de grâce the qualifying, mitigating “But” a few phrases later.

    Compare to “I’m sorry we failed to get the PPE to everyone who needed it.”

    As for peaks, because of the non-response to the virus by the Trump and the federal government, the scattershot nature of the responses by states and municipalities, and the overall lack of testing, we aren’t going to know where the peak occurs except in retrospect, and maybe not even then.

  5. Stirling S Newberry

    We will know in retrospect. But Trump wants to kill more people.

  6. Stirling S Newberry

    One more interesting point: the numbers are front-loaded, The old come first and relatively quickly, the come the less old, then come the forgotten (the is people who we didn’t know had it.)

  7. Eric Anderson

    Ten Bears:
    That thought has been on my mind as well.
    Whoever wrote this was a damn prophet:

  8. BlizzardOfOzzz

    It’s Drumph’s fault that 80 year olds are dying from the flu. WHERE ARE THE TESTS, DRUMPH!!

  9. Mojave Wolf

    @Ten Bears — we disagree on many things, but on both climate change & wildlife extermination, I am right there with you.

    Tho I fear the answer to your question shall be “tragedy.”. Hopefully our fears are very wrong, and salvation is arriving on the next train.


  10. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, but they are someone I am not unwilling to the work with to a common end.


  11. Eric Anderson

    Buncha damn animals in this thread!


    Ok. That’s fun.

  12. Yeah, and then there are those pesky little genomes, sly Devils 😎

  13. Hugh

    Ted Cruz criticized Governor Beshear of Kentucky for saying he would have state police take down license plate numbers of those attending in-person Easter services and force them to self-quarantine. I think Mitch McConnell did too. So I look forward to both showing up today at the mega-church of their choosing and shaking hands, in solidarity of course, with each of the one or two thousand attending.

  14. Mark

    The table at the following link includes the number of tests performed per day along with a running total. In short, we\’re only doing about 140k tests a day and that number is NOT increasing.

  15. Eric Anderson

    Good info here:

    Obviously not peer reviewed, but anecdotally strong.

  16. Shevek


    Your comment a few days ago Republicans are reactionary Democrats are Conservative was spot on.

    But, I\’m not sure you\’ve grasped the epidemiology on SARS-CoV-2 yet and neither has Stirling Newberry.

    The 2017-2018 Influenza outbreak in Europe caused approximately 25 per 100,000 excess deaths among all age groups. This corresponded to about 91,000 deaths among the 24 country population (361 million) or 152,000 deaths extrapolated to the all-Europe population of 599 million. Deaths occurred mainly among the elderly and sick over >65 ( 118 per 100,000 ) vs. 2 per 100,000 in the <65 population.

    Every death is sad and vaccination for influenza (when chosen and a match to the circulating virus) can help, however the extraordinary broad-brush authoritarian and financial measures implemented for SARS-CoV-2 are not taken for influenza despite the absolute mortality numbers.

    SARS-CoV-2 spread and mortality rate among the elderly and already co-morbid DO warrant additional mitigation measures, however, some have argued that SELECTIVE measures REDUCE overall mortality when applied to the populations most at risk and allow populations less at risk to obtain immunity.

    One must ask why Bill Gates has called for NOT EVEN 1% of the population to get the virus and obtain natural immunity and for subsequent digital monitoring and authentication when immunity has been obtained in order to re-enter society.

    I suggest you read the recent papers from epidemiologist John Ioannidis at Stanford and Mathematicians Wes Pedgen at CMU and Maria Chikina at U Pittsburgh.

    The statistics you assiduously gather may not be the most valuable. Random testing to confirm immunity and reliable mortality numbers as younger people reintegrate after authoritarian separation will be the statistics to track.

    Lest it be clear, this is not a call for Neoliberal and Trumpian economics and bringing back asset-bubbles.

    We need to focus the effort on reducing overall mortality, fixing neoliberalized health systems, and recognize that the virus affects populations very differently.

    Governments are planning for future social restrictions by monitoring how populations respond to the current restrictions. Neoliberal governments as well as Reactionary governments.

  17. In a German village, Gangelt, extensive testing has found 15% of the population infected with covid-19, and a death rate of .37%. John Hopkins gives the death rate in Germany as 2%.

    The ratio of actively infected to ‘had antibodies’ is 1:7.

    In Chicago, a largish, but far less random sampling of tests showed that infected to ‘had antibodies’ was somewhere between 1:1.5 to 1:5 The results are reported very imprecisely, so not sure what to make of this….

    I will take a stab at inferring the actively infected to ‘had antibodies’ ratio in the Italian village Vo’Euganeo, reported on in the Britsh Medical Journal

    Of 3,000 people tested, the maximum number or people sick was 88. But we are also told “In this study the Covid-19 research swab was performed on all inhabitants of the village of Vò and it was shown that the vast majority of people who become infected, between 50 and 75%, are completely asymptomatic,” (Google Translator of reference 1)

    Taking the low number, we have 1500 asyptomatics (who I presume have antibodies), compared to 88 active infections, for a ratio of .058 or roughly 1:17.

  18. The Swiss Propaganda Research page on covid-19 had not been updated since April 7, and I was afraid it was abandoned. However, they recently updated.

    Some of the new entries:

    “Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis concludes in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global „hotspots“, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters driving 9 to 400 miles.


    A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza.

    A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality.


    A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time evaluated and graphically displayed the rate of positive tests in the US, Germany and Switzerland. The result shows that the positive rate in these countries is increasing only slightly and not exponentially. “

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