Posted On: Wednesday - May 26th 2021 7:10PM MST
In Topics:   Kung Flu Stupidity
This post is NOT a stand-up comedy routine, but the Kung Flu PanicFest itself is a lot closer to one.
Let's talk "excess deaths" today. This is something I did preliminary number-crunching on a couple of months ago already, but never got around to doing rigorously (see postscript). A late Steve Sailer PanicFest post - Weekly Total Deaths Finally Returning to Normal - got me going again. His big EXCESS DEATHS! graph shown there is from this CDC page.
(The reader can go to either of the links above to see this better. I'm just trying to show the shape here, shrinking it way down to fit this page though.)
What are excess deaths? Simply, it's the number of fatalities in America in a time period minus the "normal" number of fatalities. Sound simple to you? No, well first of all, what is normal? One can average out a few years to get that, which ought to take out some of the variability from bad flu years, lulls after bad flu years, wartime (not a factor yet, luckily), etc. You get some sort of average, but ...
Here's my problem right away with this CDC graph. That orange "normal" curve is too damn level! If one understands that the American population is aging fairly quickly historically, as I do, one can see that this base curve CANNOT be right. Please look at it greatly enlarged on that CDC page. It hasn't gone up at all from January of '17 to May of '21. There's something wrong.
Last Fall, when Steve Sailer and others started bringing up this excess death business, their point was that, no matter what kind of shenanigans are going on, more people dying mean it must be the Kung Flu having a big effect. That's not a sure thing either, but then I'll get to that in another post. In this post, I'm looking at something very simple. It does not involve "cases", deaths FROM vs WITH Covid-one-niner, or anything medical. It's just pure numbers, from the US Census Bureau and the CDC itself, the latter regarding "regular" deaths (if that's a thing).
Months ago, I went search for exactly what the heck was going on with this base curve. From the methodology notes at the bottom of the same CDC page linked-to above (and by Mr. Sailer), one can read the following:
Weekly numbers of deaths by age group and race/ethnicity were assessed to examine the difference between the weekly number of deaths occurring in 2020 and the average number occurring in the same week during 2015–2019 and the percentage change in 2020. [My bolding]Whoa, whoa, wait a cotton-pickin' minute here. That average may not cut it. So, I went and found some nice US Census tables, even conveniently in .xlsx (spreadsheet) format. Here's a sample from the '19 one**, but I found them for '15 - '19:
Very good stuff. These (with the other 4 years) are nothing but information on the ages of Americans. One can see from a few of these that the higher-age brackets are getting bigger. It's no huge change, but it's enough to matter.
The next thing I needed was "normal" mortality numbers for these different age brackets. It took me an hour or so of searching to find Statista (which is nothing more than a site that sucks in statistics from elsewhere and displays them, I believe) page with this info. The only bad thing was the brackets there are 10-year ones. While I was writing comments under that latest iSteve post, I found out that this info. came straight from the CDC (yes, CDC again!) .pdf files like this one for '19. In fact, the CDC one for '17, with bar graphs for '17 and '16, was missing the under 5 y/o and 5-14 y/o age bracket, exactly as Statista was. (I just used a 4 yr. average instead of 5, but see next paragraph.) Here's a sample from the '19 CDC .pdf report:
Alright, so I went to the
(That last row "85" should say "85+". Calc thought I was doing an operation. It is smarter than me, so ...)
See those 2 numbers at the bottom? (Image-wise, I had to cut them off from the right side of the spreadsheet and paste them underneath). Those are the gist of this post. Taking the '19 normal death numbers minus that CDC '15-'19 average gives a difference of > 101 thousand more deaths. That's not even thinking of 2020, when the Kung Flu "hit us like a ton of ... something..."*** Subtracting the '15 normal deaths from '19 gives 217 thousand more. It's just that Americans are getting older. It doesn't look that was being taken into account for properly.
While writing comments on iSteve, I found a NY Times article that alleged the CDC did some linear regression for this base curve. I worked out a number for 2020 for that. However, I'm not sure how the NY Times alleges the CDC did that. It may have been much more complicated. However, that doesn't change the fact that the damn "Excess Death" graph has that orange curve that doesn't reflect a population increasing in age, period!
They'll be more philosophical ranting about this in an another post to come soon.
PS: I finally got my spreadsheet foo going from, well, it's been quite a while. I'm doing nothing at all fancy, but I just needed to get to a certain, USABLE computer, as in usable for computing, and get going. It was pretty fun really, and man, did it save a lot of time versus calculating and writing on paper. I was even able to import in numbers from those census bureau site .xls files. (I'm using OpenOffice Calc - we've come a long way from Lotus 123... actually NOT, in usability, though I'm sure in computing power and memory limits.)
I'm happy with my lack of errors, though, from my calculations of this past Sunday. After lots of crunching, the death numbers, if off at all, were off by just single digits out of hundreds of thousands.
So Peak Stupidity did not meet its 1st promise made in Unz Review comments, but we've met are fall-back goal. It's still Wednesday, right?
** Careful clicking on this though - it will open up your Excel program. You can get it to open another program, such as OO Calc.
*** I would use 2020 American population numbers by age, but I couldn't find the exact same format. I did recently find it for EVERY year of age. Hell, I got spreadsheets, so I'll work on that shortly.