If you’ve watch data point generation, particularly on a large scale, you’ll be aware that it takes time for data to accumulate. Sometimes the “reality of data,” can be days or weeks behind. That’s understandable, since one expects that things will be discovered over the course of time, that may even radically change the data.
Truth is, this is commonly the case when attempting to get to the truth of just about everything. If you jump on something immediately after the occurrence, the chances are good you’ll get bad information and it’s more than a little likely you’ll react inappropriately to what appears to have gone down.
By way of example, there was a recent case where a young lady was gunned down as a result of a shootout between law enforcement and her boyfriend.
To hear many tell it, the police came in, guns blazing, and killed her in cold blood. What actually happened doesn’t seem to look that way at all. To begin with, her boyfriend fired first—which means the officers were essentially acting in self defense. Further, it turns out, the young lady’s name was also on the warrant. That means she was going to be taken in for questioning at a bare minimum. As such, she could easily have reacted as her boyfriend did—that appears not to be the case, but in the heat of the moment, it may well have been.
The point of all of this, is that the available information changes over the course of time. Typically that means more is revealed as the clock continues to tick. This is as true (maybe truer) for the data being collected on COVID-19, as it is on the case about which I just spoke.
That said, it appears that the Centers for Disease Control here in the U.S. end up taking roughly two weeks to get their ducks in a row with regard to death counts (found here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm).
So at the present moment (Monday the 27th of July, 2020), the data that’s probably reasonably accurate, is that presented for the week ending on the 18th of July, 2020. Keeping in mind the collected information may change, it should still be obvious that there’s currently a mild downward trend on COVID-19 death rates. The prior week to the one discussed, shows 3814 (three thousand eight hundred and fourteen) deaths nationally; the week talked about shows 2737 (two thousand seven hundred and thirty seven).
To be fair, there’s been a small amount of “roller coaster action” over the past five or six weeks. That said, folks should be crystal clear that the numbers over that period are not even close to the “peak week” for deaths; which, as I indicated in another piece, was the week of the 18th of April, 2020, more than two months ago.
It’s important to keep in mind that even according to the CDC, we’ve been on a strong downward trend since that time. That’s totally ignoring which states have supposedly “reopened for business” and which haven’t. It also doesn’t consider where deaths have been occurring in terms of region, state, city, or neighborhood.
In the piece I spoke about a paragraph or so ago, I also made it clear that I found the CDC’s numbers questionable as a result of anecdotal information I’ve heard “reported.” Precisely because those stories are not statistical in nature, I can’t say they’re symptoms of widespread malfeasance. My suspicion is they are, but my reckoning is no better than anyone else’s, as such, you should take what I say next with the appropriate amount of consideration of possible incorrectness.
Having dispensed with that, the things I heard were along two lines.
First, that there are potentially people being counted (at least in some regions or states) “on suspicion alone.” That is, someone in the household was supposedly infected, therefor everyone in the household was.
Second, that certain of the tests being used for antibodies, test just for Coronavirus and not specifically for COVID-19. That means that folks will be counted who weren’t actually “COVID-19 positive” even for antibodies.
There’s a third thing I just heard mention of, it is that doctors appear to be expected to “include” COVID-19 in the list of conditions with which a given patient was suffering even though there was no sign of it or they were never tested for it.
How often are these and other things happening? I’m certainly not indicating I have any idea. It’s possible that things are being done to reduce the counts as well.
It’s understood that data can only be as accurate as those reporting it and those recording it. For this reason, I question the absolute integrity of the numbers.
Even so, the numbers as they currently stand, show a strong downward movement at least in terms of deaths, where COVID-19 is concerned.
Considering tests that would answer who is actually infected are not universally available, as well as the apparent truth that there are those who present little or no symptoms even though the’ve apparently contracted COVID-19, you begin to question just how accurate infection rate data might be as well.
I recognize that the statistics collected talk about the “known cases of infection,” and that’s fine. I also know that many weather reporters talk about the “heat index” rather than the actual temperature and people treat the two as synonymous one with the other.
Obviously, if the number of infections is actually higher than reported. The ratio of deaths to infections must also slide downward to match (assuming more deaths are not reported for the periods in question).
Considering that the sheer number of deaths has been pretty consistently falling for a couple of months, the additional possibility that the number of infections may be higher than what’s reported may be startling to some.
Add to this the apparent lack of correlation between the supposed (and probable) spike in COVID-19 cases—whatever the cause—and the number of deaths week-over-week, and it becomes even more apparent that regardless the reason for the spike, the overall picture seems to be looking better on a daily basis (at least from a perspective of mortality).
I’m not here to try to sell you on anything. All I’m doing is lifting the curtain a bit to allow you see inside the data. You must make your own decisions and come to your own conclusions. Take this article for what it’s worth, but remember, the numbers are the numbers are the numbers.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.