Excess Deaths

Some CDC figures on overdose deaths, which are up 25%. 


Dad29 said...

Does that number include the death of George Floyd, who died from an OD of fentanyl?

Grim said...

I don't know. I've variously seen his cause of death as police brutality, martyrdom, or apotheosis.

Dad29 said...

It was fentanyl, which produces exactly the symptoms Floyd had before his expiry. The Hennepin County coroner came to that conclusion which--as you might guess--has been near-eradicated from the intertubes.

But "apotheosis" is interesting, too.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

As that increase of about 20K excess deaths was only half in the pandemic, I would expect the number to be higher for the time of Covid when we can finally measure things with some accuracy. though weirdly, the increase started in late 2019, so C19 can't be the entire cause of it. I'm betting most of it, though. Increase in ODs during March 1 - March 1 of the past year I will hazard a guess at about 40,000.

Primarily synthetic opioids. Not much increase in people drinking on top of using narcotics, the old standard. Those tend to be drugs of choice not only for the perennially unemployed but the newly unemployed. I don't want to oversimplify and make it look like that single picture is the one you should adopt, but it is likely a big chunk.

Hard to know whether to file that under "indirect Covid" because the job losses were driven by the disease, or as "covid response" deaths because the isolation was driven largely by governments. Though in both cases, that is mixed. Lots of people would have stayed home, or had their friends and families not visit, even if the governments had done nothing; and government orders and closings certainly impacted the job losses. I'm mostly just looking at strongest factors, not exclusive factors on both sides here.

Grim said...

I'm just trying to address the challenge you raised: if these excess deaths are not all COVID, show what numbers are plausible. Looks like these are plausible figures for a few tens of thousands of extra dead over the year since COVID broke big; maybe 100,000 if the trend continued to increase over time, although 25% is already a big jump.

Suicide, we won't have the numbers for a long time. If we assume a similar trend to that in Japan until numbers are available, that's only 10,000.

Accidental injuries other than overdoses may still prove to be a substantial number, but I have yet to get to any solid idea of what it might be.

Of course, you could classify even these overdoses as 'COVID-adjacent' if they're the product of people who lost their jobs due to COVID. But then we're back to trying to figure out how much of the death toll is direct disease, and how much social reaction to the disease (both government mandates like lockdowns and freely chosen behaviors like not visiting theaters or restaurants as often even where no mandate exists).