Health Editor’s Note: This article is a good explanation of why we will never know just how many COVID-19 deaths we will record….Carol
Why some people who likely died from COVID-19 aren’t included in the final numbers.
The first time Bob Duffy entered the world of epidemiology, he was an amateur scientist. It was 2003. He had retired from the New York City Fire Department and taken a sabbatical from his normal life in suburban Long Island to help his daughter Meghan earn her Ph.D. in Michigan. She was studying the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, using tiny lake crustaceans as a model organism.
Together, Meghan and Bob would go out in a truck, towing a little, flat-bottomed rowboat. They were studying how epidemics begin and spread under a variety of conditions. They’d unhitch at one lake, and then another, working their way across the countryside as they collected and counted diseased crustaceans and the fish that preyed on them. “Over the course of a few months, you can go through a whole epidemic,” Meghan Duffy told me. Her father was her paid research assistant, and one of his jobs was to catch the fish. After 30 years of running into burning buildings, he couldn’t believe his luck, she said.
He died, at home, on March 29, 2020. Officially, the cause of death was chronic lung disease. But there was more going on than just that. …...Read More: