Dead bodies do not lie.
Have more people been dying than normal at this time of year or not? It is really that simple. Excess all-cause mortality data, not faulty tests with small samples and high false negative and false positive rates, is the best way to discern the true impact of the coronavirus.
“In the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic, the United States recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths, nearly two times as many as were publicly attributed to covid-19 at the time, according to an analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.
The excess deaths — the number beyond what would normally be expected for that time of year — occurred during March and through April 4, a time when 8,128 coronavirus deaths were reported.
The excess deaths are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They could include people who died because of the epidemic but not from the disease, such as those who were afraid to seek medical treatment for unrelated illnesses, as well as some number of deaths that are part of the ordinary variation in the death rate. The count is also affected by increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as suicides, homicides and motor vehicle accidents. …”
“Emergency calls for cardiac arrest began to climb in mid-February, in close-knit neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, some of the same local areas that would soon form the “epicenter of the epicenter” of America’s coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” New York City Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Lillian Bonsignore told ABC. “It was astounding. We went from normal to wartime EMS in a week. And then it was just explosive and it continued.”
For nearly three weeks, she said, calls escalated exponentially, particularly cardiac arrest emergencies.
“We went from about 70 or 80 [cardiac arrests] a day which is what we normally do, to almost five times the amount,” Bonsignore said. “I really was very surprised. I’ve never experienced a global pandemic.” …
He said that the inflammatory response from the virus is so severe to the heart that there were reports of “seeing what looked like a classic heart attack.” A majority of heart attacks are associated with clogged arteries, but Singh’s team was surprised to find that in these patients “their arteries were actually normal.”
Dr. Siyab Panhwar, cardiology fellow at Tulane Medical Center, also warned that it was “very possible” that blood clotting triggered by the coronavirus could be to blame and “causing more cardiac arrests.”
As the coronavirus spread, Panhwar was brought in as a cardiology consult for COVID-19 patients and said he has seen the same patterns playing out as found around the world: an unexpected prevalence of blood clotting, sometimes followed by sudden events like cardiac arrest. …”
It is even worse than it looks because the lockdown has decreased mortality for many other normal causes of death: traffic accidents, mass shootings, homicides, etc.
Dozens of states didn’t see a huge spike in mortality in late March/early April and even saw a slight decrease in all-cause mortality. This is because there wasn’t a large scale outbreak at the time in those states. Similarly, the same pattern shows up in in England in London vs. the Southwest. It can also be seen in Italy where northern Italy had a much larger outbreak than southern Italy.
The virus is also killing people in other ways through heart attacks, kidney damage and strokes which are still barely understood and which lead to coronavirus deaths being attributed to other causes. It is not a straight up respiratory disease. It attacks multiple organs in the body.
Note: The massive surge in heart attacks caused by inflammation and blood clots from the virus is why ambulances were swarming around New York City. Presumably, the flu causes cardiac arrest though. In your normal flu season, it is common to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.