The mortality rate is the shiny object, and it is easy to be distracted with it. But it is not the most important element in this situation.

The primary concern, and the thing we need to defend against, is totally overhwelming our healthcare systems. It is a bit like a distributed denial of service attack on the Internet — if every resource is devoted to Coronavirus, then it is impossible to serve everyone who needs the healthcare system on a daily basis.

That said, it doesn’t especially matter what other factors contribute to deaths from Covid-19; deaths are deaths, and the number of deaths will only be higher if we have to treat all Covid-19 cases in an overwhelmed healthcare context.

So I don’t know why you are doing the work you are doing, really; what point do you expect to make with this? For are the dead not dead, and are the hospitals not full? If you could change that with this work I’d say it was a worthy line of inquiry, but that doesn’t change anything. Perhaps it’s a useful inquiry for the sake of pure science, but it changes little from a policy perspective right now.

Disinformation researcher, thinker, writer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and data visualization geek. Twitter: @davetroy Email:

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