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    • The article you linked to already makes a good case for overall excess deaths vs. just reported cases, namely that doing so allows us to avoid both missed cases and those deaths that are only indirectly caused by the pandemic (lack of medical resources, people being afraid to visit the hospital).

      Another thing that an "excess deaths" figure allows us to do is to preempt the argument that "most people would have died soon, anyway". If this was the case, we would see a spike in excess deaths, relatively quickly followed by a "death deficit" (for lack of a better term).

      Come to think of it, we probably will see this deficit eventually - the question is just whether it will happen soon, or drawn out over the next years or decades. The more time goes by before all of this is evened out, the more overall person-hours will have been lost to this pandemic.

      Of course, all of this is based on the idea that we can accurately predict what the baseline of "expected deaths" actually is - and as the article states, we probably can't do that in all regions of the earth.

    • In the early days of the pandemic, I met a professor of medicine at Stanford out on the trail while hiking. He had been called up to help in the ICU as the pandemic gained steam.

      He told us then that the most common cause of death was myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) brought on by Covid after the virus penetrates the lung membrane and gets in the bloodstream.

      He said it was a really hard judgement call by the docs to determine cause of death, like it is when someone dies of the flu. A patient may come in on supplemental oxygen from compromised lungs, kidneys, and heart after a lifetime of poor health habits and Covid finishes them off. Is it really the cause or did it just exacerbate the real cause?