I recently read on an Eau Claire news website ( Look at how scary that virus particle looks!!! ) that WI has reached the milestone of 6,000 deaths on the “first anniversary” (does that sound a bit morbid and twisted?) of the ‘rona. Sounds like an awful-big-number.
When I hear a statistic, I try to dig into a little bit just to get some perspective on it. In my brain, this digging usually comes as a series of questions. Here are some of my questions:
Q: How many people live in WI? A: about 5.83 million
Q: How many cities are there? A: About 190
Q: How many towns? A: About 1,250
Q: How many villages? About 400
In the world of “abouts” there are about 1,850 cities, towns, and villages, ranging in population from about 580,000 in Milwaukee down to 107 in Marathon.
6,000 deaths in one year divided by 1,850 population centers of any size equals just over 3 people per place. Break that down over the timespan of a year, and we are looking at one person per population center, regardless of population, every 4 months.
5,830,000 divided by 6,000. Roughly speaking, that’s about one in a thousand. That’s not one percent. That’s a tenth of one percent. Or looking at it from the other way… 99.9% of the population of WI haven’t died from the ‘rona.
NOW for some really fun numbers. The CDC states on it’s very own website that 6% of deaths attributed to the ‘rona are without co-morbidities. In other words, 94% of the deaths attributed to the ‘rona are have culprits. Check out Table 3
Among these co-morbidities are: influenza, pneumonia, cardiac arrest, diabetes, and obesity.
Just for the sake of statistics, lets go back and assume that of those 6,000 deaths, only 6% of them were caused solely by the ‘rona. 6,000 x .06 =360.
Well, now I’ve got to see how that number changes things for the 5.83 million total population. 5,830,000 divided by 360 equals (drum roll please) about 16,195.
1,850 population centers regardless of size divided by 360 solo ‘rona deaths means that only about 1 in 5 centers have experienced even one ‘rona only death in the past year.
360 only ‘rona deaths means that 1 in 16,195 in Wisconsin have died from the ‘rona sans other things that will also kill (i.e. comorbidities).
By percentage, this is roughly .00006%. Dare I say, statistically insignificant? I dare.
Now, before anybody accuses me of not caring about even one life that is lost… don’t 🙂 Me taking a look at numbers and statistics does not give any insight into the value I place on life. I am simply taking the emotion out of it. While certain news sources present the number 6,000 pumped full of emotion (because fear drives ratings and clicks) with a scary viral type looking background clearly designed to produce fear, I am trying to do the opposite.