Here Are Three Ways of Thinking About Death Rates

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.On a normal day in America about 8,000 people die. When the coronavirus pandemic hits its peak—probably in late April—it will likely claim about 4,000 lives per day. For a week or two, our national death rate will increase by 50 percent from its normal level.
But there’s also another way of looking at this. We would normally expect about 3 million people to die this year. If the coronavirus pandemic kills 150,000 people, that’s a 5 percent increase in our normal death rate.
Or this: the population of the United States is 330 million. If the pandemic kills 150,000 people, that’s a death rate of 0.05 percent.
Pick your poison. Are you a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full kind of person?