Comparing England & USA Covid & Historical Kill Rates (Sorry, England)

Comparing England & USA Covid & Historical Kill Rates (Sorry, England)

Kissing Cousins

Thanks to our new friend at In Proportion, a must-view site, we have daily deaths in England & Wales going back to 1993, and not just from 2013.

And thanks to alert reader Peter, we have the CDC data back to 2009. That data stops early in 2019, where it is replaced with our usual CDC source. That goes through (now) Week 14. Beyond that is another CDC source, that keeps track of COVID, but also has all-cause deaths no entered into the other official sheet. It’s a mess!

You’ll see there are also some small discrepancies between the three CDC sources. All will be plotted, including the under-reporting from the older source around 2019.

I also used population data, with a simple linear extrapolation between dates: England (actually, all UK), and US (the Census, like all government run sites, makes it a pain in the keister to find).

England & Wales

Here, like yesterday, are England & Wales all-cause deaths, now from 1993, marrying the two sources noted above.

Coronavirus easy to see! And so are the extra deaths, in that dashed line, which is all-cause deaths minus COVID deaths. The secondary spike, which ordinary isn’t here, is likely caused by the panic. See yesterday for an explanation of how it appears England’s reaction is causing extra deaths.

Problem with this picture is that it’s totals; doesn’t account for population change. Here’s the same, adjusted for population. All deaths per 100,000 population.

Coronavirus doesn’t look like it will be the equivalent body count. That honor goes to the 1999-2000 flu. Congratulations! The silver goes to the 1998-1999 flu year.

Best corona could do was the bronze. Can’t fault its effort, though.

These plots could change, but probably not by much, once I track down population numbers for just England & Wales and not the whole UK. The shape likely won’t change much, I mean. The absolute numbers of course will.

Once I find more data, it’s likely COVID won’t even place. Here’s what I mean. This graph is from Peter.

These are yearly, and by 1,000 persons, not 100,000 like the weeklies. Peter used the official data and then “For years before 1971, I extrapolated the population of England and Wales from the wikipedia entries on their demographics in order to calculate a rate.” The shape is what counts, however. It’s clear enough that 2020 has almost 0 chance of beating any year before 1950, and probably not even 1990. (The WWI and WWII blips are obvious.)

Still, we all remember the great lockdowns of the past. Right? There were yearly panics, with 24 hour news coverage, delivered by postage of course, before 1950. Nobody remembers, because it was before the internet and all the old documents were lost in a fire.


Here are the counts:

You can see where the first source tails off in 2019. If you stare, you can see the small discrepancies between the old and new sources—all CDC.

There are then two peaks at the end. The smaller is from the second official CDC source, which is always a few weeks behind in counts. The higher peak is from the third official CDC source. Both also drop off in the last week, as these counts for other deaths beside COVID aren’t all in yet.

Even here, in the raw numbers, we can see that coronavirus is likely not going to win the championship. The media and political elites are pulling for it. We’ll see if the CDC can supply with enough extra bodies in the next week or two.

The dashed line is the third official source subtracting COVID deaths. You can just see a smaller secondary peak, à la England. This is even after all the effort that went into categorizing every possible death as coronavirus. That means the reaction is likely responsible for these deaths.

We can do the same for the US we did for England, but blowing up the last period, showing all causes and subtracting COVID (dashed line).

England is 20 yrs ahead in bad health, or so I was told by the BB.

The COVID numbers aren’t going to increase (or much, even with Yale’s help), but the all cause numbers will a bit. How much? The third official source (with the COVID deaths) is in green. You can see that as you go back about 6 weeks, the additions (to make up delays in reporting) decrease to almost nothing. One or two weeks back, and it’s as much as 5 thousand added.

We will see the all cause April peak boost up a tad. And, of course, the huge under-report at the end will be filled in. Point is: COVID is not going to break the 21st Century record. It came close! So be of good cheer.

Anyway, we can now see the secondary spike like England has. There may be extra deaths, and probably are due to, say, suicides, but they don’t show as clearly as in England, where people are dropping off at much faster rates. Maybe 10 to 15 thousand after this is all over.

Those 10 to 15 thousand will always be an estimate. And I can’t prove they’re extra. However, I believe it’s damn likely. And if so, it’s proof our martial law lite killed. Not as much as in England, but some.

Now how about the per-capita numbers:

This only goes back to 2009, which limits the field, but even with few competitors, COVID doesn’t look like it’s going to make it. Don’t lose hope, though. We still have a couple of weeks left, and who knows what numbers the CDC will issue. There’s still a chance!

No way it will beat first place, though. You remember the Hong Kong flu, otherwise known as the Year of the Great Lockdown? And the Asian flu a decade earlier than that? That was when the government ordered everybody to build “bomb” shelters and wait out the year.

They got that nickname because everybody inside got bombed. Which is why now nobody can remember it.

I’ll update these graphs when the CDC releases new data each week. Have to do more countries etc.

How about in general? Glad you asked!

That’s from the paper “Trends in Recorded Influenza Mortality: United States, 1900–2004” by P Doshi.

You can see there isn’t any hope at all for coronavirus. It won’t even make the top 10. It’ll be lucky to make it even a noticeable blip once 2020 is over.

Why? See, what happens is that these bugs come, kill off a bunch of people. But many of these, since they’re old, would have died this year anyway. Sad, but true. That means if you’re looking for 2020 to be a banner year, don’t bother.

Keep panicking, though. Be fearful. Your government and neighbors expect it of you. Do your duty!

Wittkowsi Interview

Don’t know where else to put this.

I can’t believe I didn’t remember I know this guy. When I was a professor at Cornell Med school, I had to go next door to Rockefeller to work with Wittkowsi and his group for a day or two. This was years ago. I didn’t peg to it until I heard his voice. I have a terrible memory for names. Being a radioman, I’m terrific with voices.

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  1. Sheri

    “That was when the government ordered everybody to build “bomb” shelters and wait out the year. They got that nickname because everybody inside got bombed. Which is why now nobody can remember it.” We teetotalers remember. Of course, we built bomb-shelters complete with internet and every amenity out there, including lights, heat, refrigerator, cooking utilities and so forth (had to rent a backhoe for a week and snap up building material before the great building material blight). Getting enough pharmaceuticals for the duration was expensive and tricky, but we had a great year of silence, didn’t take the TV inside of course, just books and a computer for writing and reading any blogs that were updated (drunk blogging was very amusing to read!). It was wonderful.

    As I have said, this was never about a virus. It was about crashing the world economy and I must say it was the most successful “war” ever fought without a shot being fired. People lined up and begged to have their lives destroyed. Maybe we should be studying what cause this mass stupidity and self-hatred, instead of the numbers of Covid 19 deaths that the actual virus itself caused. Virus deaths pale in comparative importance to the death of sense. (One must wonder if the Incas and Aztecs were destroyed by a lockdown due to an sign of the sun that they believed would kill them all unless they hid for a year. The next year massive starvation and civil war broke out and killed any survivors of the lockdown.)

    The Spanish can finally take their kids out for an hour a day. They’ve been locked in their make-shift prisons for 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS. What kind of an idiotic society locks itself up for 6 weeks???? This will go down as the complete death of thought and sense in humanity. If you’ll lock yourself in a house for six weeks, you’ll do whatever the communist overlords want. China wins and wins big, though there had to be a lot of prep work to produce such stunning results of human devolution.

  2. Sheri

    You’ll be happy to know drug dealers are doing just fine in this economy. They disguise themselves as “essential personnel” and deliver drugs. I wonder if they will maintain this method. Best news—any drug deaths are probably counted as Covid. So by the end of this, drug overdoses will be zero!!! The wonder of statistical counting. If we could get the dealers to work a bit harder, Covid might yet come out on top.

  3. Hun

    Wow, professor Wittkowski seems really upset and shaken. The attacks on him must be brutal. I hope he will last.

  4. Peter

    Though Rockefeller University has deleted the pages, you can confirm through the internet archive that Dr. Wittkowski was a member of the core faculty at the Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and also Co-Chair of the Research Study Design and Biostatistics ACCTS Subcommittees.

    To me, being listed as faculty means that he was not regular staff… meaning that he did indeed hold an academic rank at Rockefeller University.

  5. Marghiolita

    It would be good if our overlords would be communists, except godlessness , of course. But we have a disgusting mixture of so-called capitalism, market economy and socialism, plus godlessness, resulting in maybe the worst of capitalism and socialism.

  6. Dean Ericson

    ”professor Wittkowski seems really upset and shaken”

    He looked to me an honest and civilized man appalled at the attempted murder-suicide of civilization. His courage is admirable. Thanks to Briggs for linking.

  7. Patrick Healy

    Being old, wrinklie, and unable to improve my golf handicap as all our courses are closed (including the practise area) it gives more time to write ‘orrible rhymes.

    To try and end this Wuhan Flu
    We’ve been sentenced to house arrest,
    I can’t remember being changed
    With a crime which I can’t contest;
    No one asked if I felt unwell
    Or enquired if I want a test,
    Seventy eight and not needed
    My sell-by date is past its best.

    I’ve not reached the finishing tape
    There’s life in the old dog yet,
    The New World Order has to wait
    They see us old ‘uns as a threat;
    With the indoctrinated youth
    As a perfectly formed maguette,
    They think the next generation
    Will forever be in their debt.

    Do not think that satan will stop
    He is here ’till the end of time,
    Science already has sold its soul
    To the global warming paradigm;
    With the man sent to drain the swamp
    Being covered in media slime,
    We pray he will never give up
    To expose the ultimate crime.
    Patrick Healy.

  8. Gary

    All this was predicted a couple of millennia ago:

    4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
    – Matthew 24:3-14

  9. Joy

    “He looked to me an honest and civilized man “

    He was wearing clothes, which is a start, I suppose…

    Honest, though? Not entirely. Perhaps he is just upset like lots of people. It looks like phoney outrage to me as an outlet for some other peeve, no doubt pettier than a global pandemic or zombie hotpocalypse caused by climage.

  10. John B()


    OK if I share your ‘orrible rhyme with ‘friends’?

    I am somewhat disappointed in our swamp drainer on the Dr Fauci aspect of this mess, but with all the aligators he’s had to contend with, I guess I can cut him SOME slack

  11. Patrick Healy

    John B,
    You are welcome. I have a load more (New) ones.
    I have found a new lease of pen, with this Dr Flu Manchu.
    Btw did you once own a Sloop called John B? I am an old sea salt myself from time spent in the merchant navy (centuries ago).
    God bless and keep smiling.

  12. Patrick Healy

    Third line above should have ended in “charged” not “changed”
    Sorry about that.

  13. John B()

    Sloop John B was one of my many nicknames at one or two points in my life.
    I never tire of hearing the song. I learned to “sail” on one of my brother’s home built boats. (My brother read Robert Manry’s “Tinkerbell” back in the day and was inspired to built an eight foot sailboat.) He built or helped build two or three other boats. Living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, we had a lot of options and opportunities.
    My own skills are less manual.
    Thanks again.

  14. Jason Neff

    Regarding the total mortality data – just asking an honest question – CDC website says data can have significant revisions for up to 8 weeks post reporting due to delay in receipt of death certificates. Does that make it difficult to look at this year’s death vs. prior years until we get past that 8 week revision period (especially for weeks as recent as late March and April)? Is there a similar lag problem in the England/Wales data?

  15. djc

    “Is there a similar lag problem in the England/Wales data?”
    The weekly reports from ONS are by date of registration not date of death and are published 11 days after the week closes. (eg week 17 ended Friday 24th April and report was published Tuesday 5th May) Which means the numbers are reliable and will not change. The weekly report also contains some more recent information by date of death for COVID-19 only but that does get revised as new registrations come in.
    Figures from NHS-England only cover hospital deaths, are by date of report, and get revised on a daily basis.

  16. Dick Meehan

    Quite an impressive collection. Do you have any of these datasets archived? I’d be interested in trying some display techniques, happy to feed them back to if interesting.

  17. ruth

    Life expectancy went from around 40 to over 80 in the period from 1830, so what do you expect your time series to show? Also, our safety standards have changed quite a bit. Planes, cars and air pollution were way more hazardous in the past.
    The comparisons with the flu epidemics after 1918 (lost a healthy middle age family memder in one of those) isn’t fair because we did have measures to keep infection rates low this time around, even in Sweden, which is a loing way from herd immunity (late April antibody screening in Stockholm: 7,3 percent, half of that elsewhere) . People do keep their distance, many work and learn from home, avoid the inside of restaurants and public transport, even in Sweden. The economy is down, too.
    A better comparison would have been the mortality of early infection hot beds like Wuhan, Bergamo or Alsace or New York extrapolated to the whole countries. Because some people did the math for this , the measures were taken. Also, the morbidity is condiderable. For developing counries with a young population in hot climates the maths will be different.
    We don’t know how things will play out in the end, or how they would have without the measures. You don’t either.

  18. JJ

    This is interesting, but might I ask how you feel you’re comparing apples to apples when 2020 had lockdowns and quite severe social distancing/mask wearing, self-isolation, quarantines, etc. etc. and the other years didn’t?

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