H/T Vaughn Pratt for pointing to this graphic providing context for the current pandemic.
Update March 23: CV updates and Additional slides at end
For each COVID-19 death per average day, 105 people die of worse diseases as measured by average daily death rate.
This is the 9th graphic in the Covid 19 Coronavirus Infographic Datapack at Information is Beautiful.
Update March 23: Since so much concern is driven by the death statistics, bear these facts in mind:
Update March 29. 2020
Roger Kimball quotes Dr. John Lee regarding the implications of the above charts in his article It’s Not a Choice Between Lives or the Economy
Finally, a word about the difference between “from” and “with.” Over the past few weeks, I have been predicting a modest fatality rate from COVID-19. I began by predicting no more than a couple of hundred deaths and then upped my prediction to a 1,000-1,200. As of today, the number of deaths attributed to the virus is just over 2,000. So I was wrong about that.
Or was I? It is one thing to die from the effects of the coronavirus, quite another to die with the virus. Let’s say you are 87 years old, diabetic, with congestive heart failure and emphysema. You are infected with the coronavirus, get sick, and die. Did you die from it, or merely with it?
This is a point that Dr. John Lee, a retired professor of pathology in the United Kingdom, made in Spectator USA. “There is a big difference,” he writes, “between Covid-19 causing death, and Covid-19 being found in someone who died of other causes. . . . Much of the response to Covid-19 seems explained by the fact that we are watching this virus in a way that no virus has been watched before. The scenes from the Italian hospitals have been shocking, and make for grim television. But television is not science.”
“First do no harm.” Dr. Lee is right to warn that the panicked response to this new virus has neglected that age-old medical advice. “Unless,” he notes, “we tighten criteria for recording death due only to the virus (as opposed to it being present in those who died from other conditions), the official figures may show a lot more deaths apparently caused by the virus than [are] actually the case. What then? How do we measure the health consequences of taking people’s lives, jobs, leisure and purpose away from them to protect them from an anticipated threat? Which causes the least harm?”
That is an excellent question. Also excellent is his concluding observation that “The moral debate is not lives vs. money. It is lives vs. lives.”