I love data. It can tell you so much. Here are Wisconsin’s death statistics for the previous decade or so (2017 is the most recent year available)
Over that decade, Wisconsin averages about 49 thousand deaths from all causes per year. That is an average of about 4,095 deaths per month. I wish I could find monthly stats to adjust for seasonal variances, but I can’t. Anyway, looking over the time period, we averaged anywhere from an average of 3,800 deaths per month in 2009 to 4,390 deaths per month in 2017. That’s a monthly death rate of anywhere between 65.27 and 75.40 (rates are per 100,000 residents based on current estimate of a population of Wisconsin at 5,822,000).
What we don’t know is what the real-time death rate is right now in Wisconsin. Obviously, it varies due to all kinds of factors. If you look at the deaths from COVID in the state, we have had 257 as of yesterday. Those all came between the dates of March 20th and April 23rd – about a month. That equates to a monthly death rate of 4.41. In other words, the death rate from COVID is well within the normal rate variances that have always happened.
And this assumes that all of the deaths being counted as COVID deaths are incremental to the already existing death rate. As we know, many people are dying of heart attacks and whatnot and being counted as COVID deaths because the disease was present. In other words, we are not counting people who were killed BY COVID. We are counting people who died WITH COVID.
When all of this is over and we can crunch the data, I’m willing to bet a ham sammich that Wisconsin’s death rate for 2020 will not stick out as abnormal from the years surrounding it. The statistics that will stick out are job losses, business closures, bankruptcies, and foreclosures. Hey, I got the prediction that the Packers would draft a quarterback right. I am even more confident about this one.