• Glenn Wilson
    In Part I and Part II of this series we saw that Mexico looks to be doing quite well in the pandemic, compared to selected other countries, if you look only at the number of confirmed cases.

    But, when you look at Covid-19 deaths, Mexico is faring much worse.

    Why is that? There may be multiple contributing factors for Mexico doing relatively well in cases but relatively poorly in deaths but the low testing rate in Mexico is a significant factor.

    How low is the testing rate in Mexico? In this graph we compare the total tests per capita for each of the five countries (excluding the European Union -- Worldometer doesn't have this data for the EU) that we looked at in Part II:

    Data source: Worldometer.

    You can see that the testing rate in Mexico is very low compared to these other countries.

    So, Mexico has much fewer confirmed cases per capita than the United States, for example, but has about the same number deaths per capita. Here again is the second graph from Part II:

    Deaths from COVID-19, normalized by population

    You may see in the news that the number of confirmed cases in the United States is spiking again, or the number of confirmed cases in the European Union is spiking again. And they are.

    Here is a graph of the daily new cases in the USA:
    You can see that the number of new cases is clearly on the rise.

    Here is the same chart for Mexico:

    Mexico is sloping down a little. That's good, right? I say that it is neither good nor bad. Because of the low testing level in Mexico this is not a reliable indicator of where with are with actual infections.

    What is a good indicator? Deaths.

    Deaths are relatively hard to hide and a large percentage of them get picked up in the official stats or in excess mortality studies. The problem with death stats, though, is that they are like looking in a rear-view mirror. They are what some call a "lagging indicator." They tell us where we were, but they do not tell us how we are doing now.

    And as we can see in the chart "Deaths from COVID-19, normalized by population" above, Mexico has not been doing well in terms of Covid-19 deaths. I am aware of no reason to expect that to suddenly turn around.

    We have only looked at a few selected countries. How is Mexico doing compared to all of the other countries in the world?

    Mexico is currently number four in the world in the absolute number of Covid-19 deaths and number eight in the world in Covid-19 deaths per capita. (Source: statista.) And, Mexico, like many countries, has not been been counting all of the Covid-19 deaths in the official stats.

    We are in the middle of a pandemic, in one of the hardest hit countries in the world.

    Please don't get complacent.

    Update: Part IV now available: GTO and SMA Death Rates: Understanding Mexico's Covid Statistics Part IV.

    More in the category Health and Medical.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    Stay tuned for the 4th part where we zoom in on the Covid-19 death rates for the state of GTO and the city of SMA.

    Update: Now available at: GTO and SMA Death Rates: Understanding Mexico's Covid Statistics Part IV.
  • JanGregory
    Much appreciate all your efforts, Glenn. Like the health and medicine for the human body, synergy and a holistic approach is helpful when sorting through statistics. Same for assessing accuracy, reliability and credibility for the numbers. With social media so prevalent, it's common to see the CW focus on a single stat and jump to conclusions skipping any critical thinking.

    Personally, I can't stay inside 24/7 forever, so I'm constantly moving the needle on my risk assessments for my occasional forays from the house.
    Recently I'm considering paying a delivery person to do my shopping for groceries.

    The simple goal is to not be in close proximity with humans infected with SARS-2, easier said than done any time you leave the house. There's a entire laundry list of environmental conditions and circumstances to consider depending on where I go outside the house.

    I've been exceedingly careful self-isolating since March. Only leaving when necessary with mask, distancing, carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer and using it frequently, Had 5 different Covid tests if I thought there was any chance I might be a risk to family members in the same house.

    Now I'm here in SMA because I feel its much safer, than where I was in the US, mainly due to the local authorities IMO.

    Now cooler weather brings on a different environment for all viruses. They last longer in the air and on surfaces once we move into lower temperatures and lower humidity indoors and out. Being indoors with other people vs being outside is a 18 to 1 increase in risk according to most experts. Especially in a small space indoors such as restaurants or 10 people living in the same house. I do have two spots with outdoor seating with a breeze that I've visited, but indoors no.

    Another consideration is a housekeeper once a week. Should I leave while she cleans? Should I do without a housekeeper?

    We are going to be living with this for a long time, and the self-isolation issues and constant vigilance is wearing, same with keeping up with all the new info and moving my risk assessments.

    So again, thank you for your efforts focusing on Mexico and SMA. You are a much better resource because the local environment is the main concern

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