Winter Deaths in Middle Aged Midwesterns
*** The chart below is ALL DEATHS, not COVID specific. Seems from comments there might be confusion. Also, I have updated the original charts. The way the CDC provides the data makes it easy to double-count. The charts look the same, but the scale is ~1/2 what it was before.
I’ve been poking around with the weekly deaths (all deaths) by age group & state from 2015-present. Something fairly curious popped out to me & I don’t have an explanation. In the below, rather than using calendar year, I have grouped by “flu season”. I don’t know the precise way they define a flu season, but for our purposes, I have simply grouped Nov-Feb into a season. So, season 2021-22 runs from Nov ‘21 to Feb ‘22. With this grouping, deaths should be at their highest in 2020-21 (purple bars below) as this the pre-vax major COVID wave. The below chart looks at 3 midwestern states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana) for the 45-64 year olds for weeks 51- week 6 (roughly 2nd half December to end of February) for the last 8 flu seasons:
Yikes! Why is this age group dying in such huge numbers in this last season (2021-22)? The pink bars in most cases jump off the page. Not only greatly exceeding the 2015- early 2020 (pre-COVID years), but also in most cases greatly exceeding the bad winter in 2020-21.
In initial looks, I am not necessarily seeing this across all states, so I need to find a way to examine more comprehensively, but interesting that the pattern holds across 3 neighboring states.
For Gail, here is OH. You can see COVID effect in purple, but look at the pink! 😨