To me, this is one of the most interesting sets of visualizations out there. This shows, over time, the rate of deaths by age group in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In all cases, except for the 14 and under age group, you can see a rather large spike when Covid-19 began making its way around the world.
An interesting point that jumps out when looking at these charts is that deaths per age group go up in the winter, so if you just look at the chart and compare the highest peak before Covid, the Covid spike doesn’t look too horrible. However, I would suggest you compare week to year-priors week. For example, in the 65 to 84 year old bracket, the peak for pre-2019 deaths was in 2017, week one, with 18,608 deaths. The peak so far in 2020 is 25,178, so about a 35% spike. However, if you compare week to week (week 14), in 2017 and 2018, the number of deaths was around 14,000 compared to the 25,178 in 2020, or an increase of around 80%. So nearly twice as many people died than ‘should have’.
Sadly, a lot of people have turned this into a political issue – it’s not, the actual disease is a medical issue. Those who say it’s not real will be hard pressed to explain why the number of deaths have spiked so much, but I have heard explanations such as “Covid doesn’t kill you, something else does” and “the numbers are made up.”
How we react is a political issue as too many people trust politicians (but only of the ‘correct’ party) rather than science and medicine.
It makes sense to be skeptical, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a horrible new disease is just a horrible new disease.