There is a lot of talk about COVID-19 and mortality and it has important implications for our policy decisions. I devote an entire section in my book, COVID-19 Survival Manual, to the topic with a chapter entitled, Understanding Risk: The Actuary’s Perspective. You can get the book at the link above.
From the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic began to roll across the continents a major focus was the death rate for COVID-19: Who dies from it? What is the risk of dying? How does it compare to other diseases, especially influenza which we have some familiarity with?
But all of these discussions were being had, and are still being had, in a vacuum; the not well understood background that death is an ever present aspect of, as the Bee Gees said so energetically in their Billboard Number One song of 1977, Stayin’ Alive.
The following Table explains what I am trying to illustrate.