Opinion: Days of Life Stolen

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FILE – This Sept. 15, 2008, file photo shows Elizabeth Rose, a specialist with Lehman Brothers MarketMakers, working her post on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Home prices had sunk, and foreclosure notices began arriving. Layoffs began to spike. Tremors intensified as Lehman Brothers, a titan of Wall Street, slid into bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The financial crisis touched off the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

Back in April, a writer over at Forbes came up with a brilliant concept for putting the Wuhan China Virus into perspective, “Living Days Stolen.” Rich Karlgaard posited that the best way to compare the effects of Wuhan with other mass fatalities would be to compare how many days of life were lost as a result of the event.

Part of the impetus, was Chris Wallace of FOX News, stridently informing us that the Wuhan virus has killed more Americans than the war in Vietnam. In addition to being factually incorrect, Wallace’s statement doesn’t tell the entire story. Karlgaard looks at Wallace’s comparison through the lens of what he calls, “Living days stolen.” He looks at average American lifespans and compares how much they were truncated by Wuhan versus Vietnam. I won’t go through all of his math. But as of April 25, 2020, the Wuhan China Virus had stolen 80 million “Living Days” from Americans. On the other hand, the Vietnam War took over 1.06 Billion “Living Days” from our American youth. That’s over 13 times. For all the math:

Read: “Living Days Stolen” … A Smarter Way To Measure COVID-19 Deaths

The war in Vietnam ended almost 4 decades ago. Let’s look at something more recent: our current unemployment rate and its concomitant “Days of Life Stolen” (DLS) compared to DLS from the Wuhan Virus. Here is the math.

The average lifespan in these United States is 78.6 years. The average age of Wuhan fatalities is 78-80 years old. At best, if an 80-year-old dies from the Wuhan Virus, he has actually outlived his expected lifespan by about a year and a half. At worst case, he has died 219 days earlier than expected. In effect, the Wuhan China Virus has taken 219 Days of Life from him. Multiplying that by (the blatantly corrupt) number now being promulgated by the CDC, 100,000, we get 21,900,000 American Days of Life Stolen.


Now let’s look at the DLS for the shutdown, specifically unemployment. My good friend and colleague Alex Parker had a great piece on the huge spike in California suicides attributed to Governor Newsom’s insistence on keeping people locked down.

Read: Sleepless and Sea-Addled: Thanks to California’s Closure, Last Month Saw a Year’s Worth of Suicides

However, suicides aren’t the only fatalities attributed to unemployment. Murders, drug overdoses, and other causes are also thrown in there. According to a number of sources, as many as 40,000 additional American deaths occur with each one percent increase in the unemployment rate. From February’s unemployment rate of 3.5%, the number of unemployed Americans has climbed to 14.7%, an 11.2% spike. Doing that math tells us that as many as 448,000 additional Americans may die from the economic effects of the lockdown. That’s over 4 times as many as perished from the Wuhan China Virus. And that, folks, doesn’t come near describing the full effect.

Taking April’s numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we currently have 22.5 million unemployed, spread across several age group bands. For the sake of this exercise, we will delete the 1 million that represents persons 65 and over. This puts the mean age of unemployed persons somewhere between 25 and 44 years old. Again being conservative, we use 44 as the mean age. We can see that given an expected lifespan of 78.6 years, 34.6 years are cruelly cut off of the 448,000 lives we spoke of earlier.


More math: 34.6 years X 365 (you can keep the leap years) = 12,629 days. Multiply that times 480,000 = 6,061,920,000 Days of Life Stolen by the lockdown. Even more math…dividing Lockdown DLS by Wuhan DLS we get 276.8. The lockdown has stolen 276.8 times as many days from American lives than Wuhan. The Vietnam conflict has stolen 48 times more American life than Wuhan.

Next time some leftist tries to feed you that mewling trope about “trading lives for profit,” feed them these numbers in return.

Stay tuned for my next OpEd about the CDC finally coming around (almost) to my numbers on Infection Mortality Rates and what that means.


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