By Kennedy Shelley
Many people are puzzled by the big difference between countries and the rate of death by COVID-19. A big reason is how they count them.
In Germany, a woman with fatal late-stage pancreatic cancer also tested positive for the coronavirus and died.
Her cause of death was listed as the coronavirus even though she was not on a ventilator at the time.
The same can happen with people who have heart attacks, strokes or other problems if they also test positive for the coronavirus.
Determining the cause of death is important for public health statistics, as well as families who want to keep track of their family’s medical history, but it is difficult work for coroners.
Unless the deceased was being treated for a pretty obvious condition such as cancer or an auto accident it might require an autopsy to figure out what killed a person.
In Italy the country with the highest death rate in the western world, they have found that those who have died had several diseases also present.
All but a few had several health problems which statistically would lead to a premature death even without the virus.
Having high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or other parts of metabolic syndrome by themselves would likely lead to premature death, but if they have the virus it is automatically attributed to the virus.
By far metabolic syndrome is the largest killer in the world when you realize that is the root cause of most heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. (See this article in Freedom Health News)
But people with metabolic syndrome are also most likely to have the most serious complications from coronavirus. Those who maintain metabolic health don’t seem to be getting sick.
Another factor for why there are such differences in the numbers is looking at the number of people being tested.
Let’s take two hypothetical examples:
Country A tests 500 people and finds 100 have the virus, 20 of those get sick and 2 people die. They report their death rate is 2% (2 deaths/100 cases).
Country B only tests those with symptoms and only 20 cases are identified, and 2 people die. Their death rate is 10% (2/20).
In other words, the number on the bottom (the denominator) is important to see what the actual number is.
South Korea and other countries are very aggressive in testing as many as possible, so they have a very low death rate because they identified a large number of cases.
So, the number of people who have the virus is going to vary from place to place, and the rate of death statistic is almost meaningless.
But the number of people on ventilators and how many Intensive Care beds available is important.
This may be the most important number ignored by the Drudge Report and the alarmist media. How swamped is your local health care system?
This is going to vary from country and area to area.
Germany has 28,000 ICU beds, while Italy only has 5000. Italy is flooded and medicine is swamped, Germany is not.
That’s why hospitals wanted social distancing to flatten the curve.
On average 70% of America’s ICU beds are empty.
Only 20% of the people in ICU need a ventilator.
This normally goes up during flu season.
Even in major disasters, usually 30% of ICU beds are empty in area affected in the US.
Empty ICU beds are expensive and big cites like NY are likely to have shortages because they don’t have the excess capacity and it’s easy for government bureaucrats to cut normally empty beds when there is no crisis and they can blame others when disaster strikes.
The bottom line is this, while the Drudge Report keeps throwing up a bunch of alarmist numbers and beats an anti-President Trump drum, the reality is very few of their statistics are meaningful, and they keep ignoring why some hospitals are swamped.