A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), tracks all-cause mortality in the United States and shows that deaths in 2020 will be 20 percent higher than the previous year’s average,media reported. More strikingly, only two-thirds of the new deaths this year can be attributed directly to COVID-19. This devastating global pandemic, which is taking place, has caused incalcerable damage to humanity.
Some researchers are looking for a method known as “excess death.”
Because the total number of deaths in the United States is actually very similar each year, tracking excess deaths can provide researchers with a useful measure to assess the actual impact of health events like this new crown pandemic on mortality.
“Excessive deaths are often defined as the difference between the number of deaths observed over a specific period of time and the expected number of deaths over the same period of time,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote on its page dedicated to tracking excess deaths in the country.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine have been keeping a close eye on excess deaths in the United States since the pandemic began, and their latest report shows that the effects of COVID-19 are more pronounced than overall mortality statistics suggest.
Steven Woolf, lead author of the study, points out that skeptics say the death toll is false or much smaller than what you hear from the news, and that their study and many other studies on the same subject show the opposite.
The new study now examines data from 2014 to 2020 to determine the average expected mortality rate for a particular year. If this were a normal year, the researchers calculated, 1,111,031 people could die in the United States between March 1 and August 1 this year. However, the actual figures show that 1,336,561 people died in the five months. This equates to an additional death toll of 225,530. In the first months of the outbreak, the total death rate increased by 20 per cent.
More alarmingly, only 67 per cent of these additional deaths ( or 150,541 ) were directly attributable to COVID-19. The researchers believe that some of these additional deaths may be unexplained or unregistered cases of COVID-19. But according to the researchers, most of the deaths were most likely indirectly caused by the pandemic.
“Some people who have never been infected with the virus may die as a result of the devastation caused by the epidemic,” Woolf said. “
Two JAMA editors published an editorial along with the new study, which pointed to the importance of such research — and the deep-reaching implications of the pandemic.
The editorial reads: “The importance of Woolf et al’s estimates – which suggest that more than 400,000 excess deaths will occur throughout 2020 – cannot be overstated because it includes some reasons for death, such as a decline in motor vehicle accidents and other increases such as myocardial infarction.” These deaths are a true reflection of the human cost of the 2020 pandemic. “
More nuancedly, the new study cites an increase in the morality of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in the United States between 2020. The increase in these deaths is not directly attributable to COVID-19, but the study found that these increases did occur at the same time as the wave of viral cases in some states.
The study also referred to complementary studies that noted a significant increase in opioid overdoses between March and June this year. A study published last month reported a 123 percent increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses compared with the same period last year.
At this point, Woolf is certain that death is not the only way to measure the impact of the epidemic. The ripple effects of the epidemic are likely to occur in the coming years.
Woolf warned: “Many people who survive this pandemic will suffer from chronic complications for the rest of their lives. Imagine a person who has a warning sign of a stroke but is afraid to call 911 for fear of contracting the virus. These people may have permanent neurological defects for the rest of their lives as a result of a stroke. “