# More Magic With Numbers

September 10, 2020 Commentary

This is pretty basic stuff, but it helps inform us about real risks from CV-19 and maybe it is something people can share.  The population of Minnesota is about 5.68 million people.  The best information I could find, which is similar to data presented by the Star Tribune, is that about 80,000 of those people live in nursing homes, assisted living and similar congregate care settings.  The modeling team helpfully gave us an age breakdown of the population as well.

Everyone is worried about dying.  There have been 1847 deaths with a CV-19 diagnosis on the death certificate.  (I am pretty sure now that CV-19 played a significant role in maybe half of those deaths.)  1354 of the deaths have occurred in that congregate living population, so 493 haven’t.  1354 out of 80,000 people is 1.7%.  That is actually pretty astounding and should be very concerning.  On the other hand, 493 out of the remaining 5,600,000 persons is .009%  or 9 out of every 100,000 people.  That should not alarm anyone, and is lower than death from a number of other causes.  The relative likelihood of death from CV-19 for a nursing home resident versus the general population, is about 190 times greater.

By age, we see as or more dramatic differences.  For example, those 80 years old and above comprise 1099 of the CV-19 deaths.  There are about 266,000 persons in this group.  So the death rate is .4%.   There are 1,375,000 million persons under the age of 20 in Minnesota.  One has died with a CV-19 diagnosis.  That is literally not even one in a million, it is .000073%.  The relative rate of death between the over 80 and under 20 groups is 5,480 times.

The median age of the population is about 40.  For the half of the population under that age, there have been 22 deaths, out of 2,871,000 people.   That is a rate of .00077%.  For the half of the population above that age, there have been  1825 deaths, out of about 2,819,000 people.  That is a rate of .065%.   The upper half of the population by age has an 84 times greater rate of death than the lower half.

Deaths as a percent of cases shows an equally exponential spread.  I am not making any assumptions about relative number of undetected cases.  This is strictly deaths divided by number of cases as reported by the state.  12,436 cases among that under 20 years old group, one death, case fatality rate is .008%.  For 20 to 29 year olds, 18,474 cases, 4 deaths, .02% case fatality rate.  30 to 39 year olds, 13,871 cases, 17 deaths, a .12% case fatality rate.  40 to 49 year-olds, 11294 cases, 28 deaths, a .25% case fatality rate.   50 to 59 year-olds, 10078 cases, 100 deaths, case fatality rate is 1%.  60 to 69 years old, 5959 cases, 223 deaths, case fatality rate of 3.7%.  70 to 79 year olds, 3220 cases, 375 deaths, case fatality rate is 11.6%.   80 and over, 3627 cases, 1099 deaths, case fatality rate of 30%.

Relative case fatality rate for 8o plus year olds compared to under 20 is 3750 times greater risk.  For the half and half of the population analysis.  For people under 40,  .05% case fatality rate.  People 40 and over, 5.3% case fatality rate.  The upper half of the population by age has a 106 times greater case fatality rate than the lower half.

If we added health status, the differences in risks would grow further.  Imagine the likelihood of death for a nursing home resident over age 90 versus a healthy 40 year old.  The point of all these comparisons is to emphasize that there is not a meaningful risk of death, or even serious illness, for the average Minnesotan, not even close to a serious risk.   Does our public policy reflect that lack of risk?