In case anyone challenges my recent statements on the death rate from COVID-19, currently standing at 16% – see earlier post today, as being alarmist or simply crackpot, let’s see what the experts at Worldometers have to say on the subject.
But before we do that, let’s just take a logical look at it. The actual death rate will not be known until after it is all over. At that time every single case will be represented as either a recovery or a death. Deaths and recoveries added together will at that time equal total cases. That is not the case at any time prior to the end of the virus because until that point ‘total cases’ also includes ‘outstanding cases’ (cases in progress). Total cases is therefore a misleading and inadmissible metric for calculation of death rates while the pandemic is ongoing.
So, it stands to reason that death rates at any time before all cases have been resolved can only represent the current death rate at the time of calculation, but must be specified in terms of ‘deaths’ and ‘recoveries’ – the only factors which will eventually determine the actual death rate.
Okay. So deaths and recoveries are the only things we should concern ourselves with in determining the severity of the episode. I hope you can see that.
‘Outstanding case’ figures – can only guide us as to how far the pandemic has to run before it is over and the extent of its spread among the population, and yet so often we see death rates calculated to include the outstanding cases.
Read on if you are not yet convinced.
This Worldometers web page goes at length on a trip around the boondocks to come to the same conclusion.
It gives the correct equation for calculation of the current death rate and the eventual CFR (Case Fatality Rate) as being:
CFR = deaths / (deaths + recovered)
…which at the end of the outbreak – but at no other point in advance of that – will equate to
CFR = deaths / total cases
And it states clearly that the current death rate, as of today – March 26, 2020, stands at 16%, as I stated earlier.
Read it for yourself.
At this point I wish to draw no inferences on what a current death rate of 16% might mean, to you personally, to your locality, your nation, and to the whole world. That, you will have to work out for yourself.