Supposedly Mark Twain came up with that one. Just shows that intelligent suspicion of government and the media has been a concern for a long time. Even farther back than his time. Daily we get a running score card about the covid-19 and infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. You ever give any thought as to how exactly those numbers are gathered and reported? Who died and went to heaven and appointed Johns Hopkins king of the numbers? If their were divinely appointed I for one would still like to know the details about how exactly they amass their numbers. What is their source? You may recall this past week that some outfit in California came up with a new model that evinces that the death rate was over calculated enormously.
When it comes death rates you can see every source of the media completely drooling with anticipation when the alleged deaths will hit 100,000. I swear some of them will drop confetti and pop champagne. What a great number for the headline lead whether in print or on a tv screen.
Presumably and I have read a couple of items that verify that one source of deaths due to the virus is death certificates. That makes sense. How to they accumulate that data? Is the information of the death certificate accurate? Are they making a real hard count or using some kind of “model” to arrive at their totals? Sadly in my life I have had more experience with death certificates than the average Joe. I was the “family” lawyer from the mid ’60’s to date. Also I was the patriarch by circumstances for many decades. I had to deal with all the “business” of death for many members of my immediate and family by affinity. I assure you that those certificates are not always accurate regarding the cause of death. Human emotions come into play. The reporting physician is human and takes action as such. That is not a criticism of their work but an honest observation. Case in point was an uncle of mine. He died tragically at a very young age–47. He was an alcoholic. His death was not nice or clean. The death certificate listed the cause of death as cirrhosis and some lung thing. I am sure the physician saw no point in causing any emotional strain on the family by listing the true cause. Is was the alcohol. Period. I really liked my uncle and he had served honorably during the War. Of course nothing was ever done to correct that death certificate. My mom’s certificate listed Alzheimer as her cause of death. Not true. For one thing there was no autopsy for verification and having lived through her experience for over 7 years with her dementia I assure you it came from anesthesia problems following an operation after a fall. The day before her fall she was still completely independent: balanced her check book, did her own shopping, was aware of politics, events and knew everyone. Three days later it was all gone. That is not Alzheimer’s.
Today if a 50 year old man who is 80 pounds overweight and gets the virus I am quite confident that the death certificate will say the virus killed him. But from all the info publicly available it has been repeatedly pointed out that those with such an underlying condition are at a much higher risk of dying from the virus. Was it really the virus that killed that man or was it his obesity? If his weight had been normal would he have shown any symptoms at all? Given the current environment the virus will be listed and likely not the weight issue. This is not a complaint about the competency or integrity of physicians. Far from it but accounting for their human behavior.
I make no claim that I know the true number of deaths from the virus. But inaccurate data leads to inaccurate totals and conclusions. Whatever the real number it is less than reported. History says this is true with regard to any account of deaths from unusual causes. The initial battlefield reports from commanders are always too high whether reporting their own casualties or the enemy’s. Remember the “data” showed we would likely have millions of deaths only two months ago. No one mentions that anymore. Sympathy to anyone who has lost a loved one. But these remarks are mostly for those merely trying to muddle along with their lives in face of all the normal dangers: diseases other than the virus, car accidents, and that long list of bad things that can happen. Life can be dangerous. None of us get out alive. Be grateful and remember the Serenity prayer and Psalms 91.
On that upbeat tone I will say au revoir before I spoil your day. It is only the ramblings of an old mind and worthy of little note.
Put another log on the fire while I bed down. God bless,