NYT chart shows all causes of death in NYC over past 20 years, then coronavirus spike

“[D]eaths over the last month dwarf what would be expected from seasonal variations, and look more like a mass casualty event.”

Coronavirus is not the flu or a cold.

Look at this shocking data visualization of all-cause mortality in NYC over the last 20 years by a team reporting on COVID-19 deaths at the New York Times.

Excerpt from reporting in the New York Times today by Josh Katz and Margot Sanger-Katz:

The recent numbers are most likely an undercount. Even in normal times, death certificates take time to be processed and collected, and complete death tallies can take weeks to become final. This is especially true for cases involving coronavirus. "Covid deaths all have to be manually coded," said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the C.D.C.'s National Center for Health Statistics, adding that death counts from New York City typically lag actual deaths by 10 or 11 days.

But even if the current count is perfect, roughly 9,780 people have died of all causes over the past month in New York City, about 5,000 more than is typical.

The numbers for the last two weeks of the period are even more stark: nearly 7,000 dead, more than three times as many deaths as would normally be expected this time of year.

As our charts show, deaths are strongly seasonal: On average, more people die in winter and fewer in summer. These fluctuations aren't just related to the flu. In a typical year, the vast majority of the variation in mortality is driven by seasonal variation in the number of heart disease deaths.

But the deaths over the last month dwarf what would be expected from seasonal variations, and look more like a mass casualty event. The city's medical examiner's office is holding bodies in refrigerated trailers outside of hospitals. City emergency medical technicians are declaring deaths in homes and on the streets instead of bringing people to hospitals.

More from the reporters, on Twitter:

Read more at the New York Times:

Deaths in New York City Are More Than Double the Usual Total

[Josh Katz and Margot Sanger-Katz, April 10, 2020]

And on the data, from the original article:

Notes: Counted deaths for the month ending April 4 include an additional 1,396 coronavirus deaths reported by the city that have not yet been added to the C.D.C. data.

Source: New York Times analysis of provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.