COVID-19? Ask an Actuary

US Serious/Critical Active 05.08
Update — I have increased my projection of the U.S. death toll through September 30 to
180,000
(Current U.S. death toll as of prediction update: 72,293)

IOW, contrary to U.S. Administration’s politically motivated assessment, the U.S. has not successfully dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. And failure to recognize that fact will only make the situation worse and lead to more deaths, more disabilities, more loss of economic power, and further failed leadership.

[ARL · 2020 may 6 CDST 8:20]

The United States now has more than 1 million active COVID-19 cases. The peak for that crucial metric remains completely elusive, disappearing into the swamp of ill-advised, politically motivated, premature re-openings. And as illustrated in the header graph, serious and critical COVID-19 cases — requiring hospital beds, special equipment, special medications and additional hospital personnel — continues to rise apace with the active cases. Yet partisan policies being pursued by the Administration and too many states continue to promise only to increase the load on the medical community, with little sign of relief.

The Administration’s highest boundary in the range for its most recent guess at the cumulative death toll — 100,000 deaths — will be breached by Memorial Day, once again passing that mark at a pace near or above the pace experienced during April. IOW, in little more than 3 months COVID-19 will have caused the deaths of more Americans than the Hong Kong flu caused over the course of two full flu seasons in 1968 and 1969, forcing coronavirus deniers who keep shifting their no-worse-than-flu propaganda to roll out yet another excuse for failing to recognize the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already the Administration is openly using its own poor guesses to attempt to undermine confidence in health officials and the more reliable models that warn against further spread of the coronavirus. And already the Administration is setting up scapegoats to blame for its continued failure to provide coherent, consistent and effective leadership against the pandemic. By June, the Administration will be putting pressure on U.S. health authorities to re-categorize cases and deaths to artificially restate the counts to lower levels thought to be more politically palatable. Yet the coronavirus will continue to spread unchecked, eventually reaching the most remote rural counties that currently feel themselves to be immune.

Further comments are being assembled in my Personal Notes & Observations.

[ARL · 2020 may 10 CDST 20:40]

In Development — This post remains in a highly dynamic phase, with daily additions made throughout most of its pages. Nothing herein will ever be complete.
[ARL · 2020 apr 9 – may 11]

Ask an ActuaryWhat is the future of our COVID-19 pandemic? How long will we be at risk of it invading our community? What will the social and economic consequences of the crisis be?

As I’ve so often advised, “Ask an actuary.”

Even after one month at this personal project, this particular actuary has not yet seen all the data he would need for knowing sufficient facts, for building a credible model, nor for studying this immensely complex issue enough to respond much beyond knowing when to roll his eyes at the overly optimistic political grandstanding that sarcastically predicts zero from some miracle just around the corner or to dismiss out-of-hand apocalyptic prophesies that see this as the end of the world as we’ve known it. [ARL 2020 Apr 25 CDST 17:26]

From the beginning of March 2020, I’d wanted to at least be in position to bring those extreme outer boundaries in closer toward at least some degree of confidence in any response I myself might give. On March 25, I was finally goaded into personal action of my own upon seeing a semi-log graph of COVID-19 cases. This weblog post with its various pages and its associated posts represent the visible portion of a quickly bulging private project to collect some of what I would need to formulate some answers, with an eye toward having something to say by the time the whole experience is history.

So, then (as will be edited heavily and added to daily from now until further notice) …

  • Actuarial Briefs & Studies — Relevant material published by actuarial organizations.
  • Pensions & Other Employee Benefits — Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on employer-sponsored benefit programs.
  • Legislation, Regulations and Pronouncements — Official actions adopted by governments and other authorities.
  • Documents — Reports, publications and other documents.
  • Deaths — Individuals whose deaths were caused by or related to COVID-19.
  • Sources — Authorities and others to whom I look for reliable information and data.
  • Personae — Persons and organizations with a role in the COVID-19 drama.
  • Gazette — Timeline of certain happenings relevant to the pandemic.
  • Dialectic — Vocabulary, terms of art and principles of the practice.
  • Personal Notes — My own explorations on the topic.
  • Index — Directory of information assembled within this project.
Disclaimer — Any analysis, comment, conclusions or other content herein is completely of a personal nature intended for the private use of the author. It should not be represented nor used as actuarial or other professional advice. Links to other websites do not connote endorsement of the content of those sources.
not the future expected
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