With all of the various news agencies spinning the facts and spinning the “science” as they see fit it is hard to get a grasp on what is actually happening with COVID-19. When looking at most news outlets they are biased one way or the other. Here are some fairly straight forward facts and data to help you understand where we are.

The first metric to look at is the percentage of people who have died in the U.S. from this virus. This is fairly straight forward to calculate. As of this writing we have had 369000 deaths. The population of the United States is 330,022,000. To get the percentage you do the following math:

  • Deaths divided by population
  • 369000/330022000 = 0.0011
  • This number times 100 to get percent = 0.11% (one tenth of one percent.)
  • The total percent of the U,S, Population that has died from COVID 18 is 0.11%

Deaths per million

There have been many reports of how out of bed the U.S. is with respect to other countries, particularly European countries, with respect to deaths and progress in fighting the virus. These might make you to believe that the U.S. leads as the worst of the developed nations in managing the outbreak. Here are the actual numbers (Source Our World Data).

COVID 19 Deaths per Million 01/08/21

This chart shows the 7 day rolling average number of deaths per million people over time. As you can see by the chart above the U.S. is not at the top of the list of countries in a metric that is reflective of how a country is doing overall. The United Kingdom and Germany have higher death rates but in general the U.S. is slightly worse off then Europe as a whole.

New Cases per Million 01/08/2021

As you can see from the plot above the 7 day average COVID-19 number of new case per million is better than the United Kingdom but not as good as Europe. It is interesting to note that Germany and the United Kingdom have fewer new cases per day but a higher death rate. This would seem to indicate our health care system is doing a better job in treating those who are sick.

Another indicator of our ability to treat those who are sick is if you look at the number of those who were sick vs. the number that died last spring compared to now. Last April 30 there were 83 cases per million and 6 deaths. On January 8, 2021 there are 746 new cases 9 deaths per million. So the ratio of sick people to death is much better now but of course we are also testing more, so we have more people know who have it. In any case it does appear that our ability to treat those who are sick has greatly improved when you remember the predicted death rates overall were between two and five percent last March. The death rate we were seeing of those infected by these numbers today is 9/746 times 100 or 1.2 percent. Of course those who are elderly of have other health issues are much more at risk.

Hopefully this data will help you understand where we are. With the vaccine coming soon we should start to see significant drops in these numbers and that will be a welcome site.