To be on the front foot, we need to get off the Covid death data back foot
Economically, socially and morally this is crucial and it’s not hard to do
Eighteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we don’t know how many people have died. A true global tally is not just overdue. It’s vital.
The task is a Herculean one, given so much of the world struggles to record basic information about deaths even in normal times. But without a better grasp of the toll we will strain to assess the precise, real-world impact of vaccines and other preventive measures, or to understand how lethal variants have been. Absent efforts to fill the gaps even in developed nations, the wealthy will be counted, but too many of the rest will not, making it easy for economic recovery to overlook the under-served.
Deaths are a sure indicator of the damage wrought. The trouble is how bad we are at counting them...