All the data you can eat
Don't MissMy Corona

NYT shows New York deaths doubled as a result of Covid-19

Adam Oxford
Adam Oxford
2020-04-112020-04-17

There’s a lot of confusion about the mortality rate of coronavirus and how it compares to baseline numbers. After all, lots of people die every day, and a lot of people who die from Covid-19 would probably have passed anyway, right? Here in South Africa, it’s even further confused by the fact that the known mortality rate currently hovers 1%. Four times as many people die on the average day from car accidents and homicides, and those could also be saved by stopping the world from happening right?

Today’s New York Times digs into this argument with some startling stats about its home town, currently the biggest hotspot stateside. It’s two decades worth of data, taking in 9/11 and the line at the end, representing March 2020, is such a massive increase it looks like it’s an annotation, not part of the main graph. It goes without saying that what is true for New York may not be true elsewhere, but it explains the need for lockdown more coherently than any top level stats. The article does a good job of explaining why it’s not that simple to do the analysis, which maybe explains why it hasn’t been done in other places. A fair assumption is that something similar is true in Italy, the UK, France, China and Spain, and it’s exactly what African governments have mobilised to avoid.

Adam Oxford
  • Adam Oxford is a freelance journalist, media consultant and civic tech enthusiast. He also works closely with startups developing solutions to access to justice problems.

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