Where Was Covid?
I keep looking for stealth Covid in NYC before lockdowns, to no avail.
There’s oodles of talk about whether SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from a lab or a was product of nature. As provocative as that line of inquiry is, I’m more interested in a related question: When did SARS-CoV-2 begin to circulate in the U.S.?
I’ve looked for possible answers in mortality data - especially for New York City,the epicenter of America’s mass-causality event in spring 2020. I can’t get over how unnatural the city’s weekly natural cause deaths were in the wake of lockdowns.
Incredibly, 22% of April 2020 Covid-attributed deaths in the U.S. were New Yorkers. The city also accounted for 22% of America’s all-cause death increase that month.
With stats like that, surely we’d be able to find signs of the virus in the weeks & months leading up to March 2020 lockdowns. A novel coronavirus with a reputation of being more deadly and more contagious than flu would show itself in a city of 8 million before *suddenly* killing over 19,000 people in three months…right?
Let’s take a look…
First, here’s weekly NYC deaths from any natural cause, starting in January 4th, 2014 and ending March 14, 2020. The peaks are largely driven by flu season and other natural deaths that tend to occur in the winter months at NYC’s latitude.
Eyeballing the number of natural-causes deaths for the same weeks in 2017 - 2020, we see the slightest of upticks from March 8-14th, 2020, which happens to be when lockdown measures in the city began.
This complements the city’s Emergency Medical Service data. Life-threatening incident calls were unremarkable - and below 2019 levels - until lockdown week.
Maybe covid deaths were “hiding” in other respiratory disease deaths?
Doesn’t appear so.
What about deaths from nervous-system diseases? Maybe SARS-CoV-2 was a cause, but Alzheimer’s was listed first?
How about heart deaths?
Nothing to see before in the weeks shutdown, except some higher totals at the very end of 2019.
Perhaps we can see covid gaining steam by looking at the kind of placeNew Yorkers were dying in late 2019/early 2020? Hospitals and care facilities were the most likely places for such deaths to have been occurring.
I don’t see any signals in the hospital deaths.
I do see a bump up in mid-February at nursing home and hospice facilities. The numbers are small, and were circulatory & nervous system deaths.Comparing the first ten weeks of deaths in those facilities for 2020 and the two years prior, 2020 was running “behind” - not ahead of" - 2018 and 2019.
Finally, I see no reason to believe New Yorkers were secretly dying of covid at home.
If there are other sources of data I should be consulting to “find” covid in New York City before it suddenly created excess mortality after Governor Cuomo gave permission for it to do so, I’m happy to review those.
CDC/NCHS Provisional death data has been reporting NYC as a jurisdiction throughout the pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm | The data in this post is from CDC WONDER, using Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, & Richmond Counties.
NYC’s population = 2.5% of the U.S. population
On March 7, 2020, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a covid-19 Disaster Emergency, saying a “disaster is impending in New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.” (Footnote added 9/21/22)
CDC WONDER has healthcare (inpatient), healthcare (outpatient/emergency department), long-term care facility/nursing home, dead on arrival, decedent’s home, hospice facility, and other (e.g., in a car, at a friend’s apartment, on railroad tracks). Weekly place of death data prior to 2018 are not publicly available. Per my emails with CDC staff, it will be made available in the near future.
Interestingly, per the AG’s January 2021 report, “In early February, DOH issued specific correspondence to health care facilities in New York directing them to plan for covid-19.” Footnote added 9/21/22
Two things to consider perhaps—
Panicked people start visiting hospitals (I might have Covid. It’s dangerous. I need medical attention)
Hospitals adjust treatment protocol in respiratory diseases, proactively intubating people and using respirators even if not needed in response to panic?
I think you were right to start looking in North Carolina. It hasn’t been covered but the triangle locked down as hard as anywhere in the US and held it longer than almost anywhere in the US. It’s also the most likely origin point in the US given it was a Duke/UNC collab, alongside the WIV that is the most likely origin point for SARS-CoV-2 (understanding that likely something like 95% of the “coronavirus” that was detected globally was not related to SARS-CoV-2). I believe we see small but sustained increases in all-cause beginning in the summer/fall of ‘19, which aligns with the identification of SARS-CoV-2 in waste water in Italy, another collaboration site.
NYC, like most everywhere else in the world simply sacrificed a huge number of high risk individuals at the alter of panic. And that’s why the mortality data looks exactly like you’d expect it to look if there was a war/human sacrifice event.