How many people is coronavirus really killing? Ontario’s data can’t tell us

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How many people is coronavirus killing?

It’s one of the most important questions about the most important problem for a generation.

Governments update the official tally every day, but experts warn that that number misses a lot of deaths linked to coronavirus. Without knowing the number of overall deaths — and comparing it to deaths in previous years — it’s impossible to tell the true number.

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But unlike governments around the world, Ontario releases data on deaths far too slowly for us to answer the question. We’ll be able to see overall numbers of deaths for the period we’re now in, but not until January of 2022, officials say.

Why is that important?

All over the world, statistics have shown a disturbing fact: deaths have risen by far more than official totals of coronavirus deaths can account for.

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In the U.K., deaths are 40,000 above normal levels, though less than half were attributed to coronavirus. In New York City, about 16,000 deaths are officially blamed on coronavirus — but that still leaves another 4,300 deaths above levels normal at this time of year. 

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