Covid 500k

In spring 2020 I estimated in the blog that Covid-19 would kill 500k Americans in total. It was a crude number based on the US population at that moment, the assumption that 100% of people would be infected, and the covid-related estimated fatality % at that time. We have just hit 500k according to official sources.

At the time I assumed it was a pessimistic number. I mean, would everyone really get infected? Looks like there have been ~29 million confirmed cases in the US so far, which is about 9% of the population. Since ~50% of infections are asymptomatic we might guess about 18% of the population has been infected. Sounds weird to say it, but IMO we’d be better off with the same numbers and 90% exposure, because the virus would have fewer hosts.

Since reasonably widespread vaccination won’t be in place until fall or later, looks like I lowballed the number of covid fatalities. Infection rates are falling somewhat, but it’s reasonable to think we could add another 100k to the number of covid fatalities.

Or maybe it’s vagaries in how Covid deaths are reported. The CDC stance is:

Part I and II of a death certificate ask what caused a death and what other factors contributed to it. If COVID-19 appears among the causes and contributors, CDC guidance counts that as a COVID-19-related death. > >

but Dr. Birx has previously said:

If someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death. > >

Maybe she was referring to Part 1 and 2 of the death certificate, or maybe she meant “if they tested positive”.

I don’t know. What I do know is I’m ready for my spot in the vaccination queue. I’m betting on August before I am eligible. I sure won’t be sorry to see the need for masks go. Maybe by summer 2022?