The US population is 330 million and 500k people have now died of Covid. So for 1/3 of all Americans to know someone who died of Covid each victim must be known by 220 people on average. Now, a quick look at Google suggests that this is within the range of the number of people known by the average American (and maybe on the low side)  so saying that 1/3 of Americans 'know' someone who died of Covid really does not convey any new information.
Edit: Ahah I see you did the same calculation in another comment!
9/11, for example, had a pretty disparate impact versus the raw number of deaths it generated.
I'm jealous of the circles you run in.
329,484,123 (US pop) / 3 / 500,443 (COVID-19 deaths) = 219.46
Apparently the average American knows about 220 people. Impressive.
EDIT: That's assuming each of the 1/3 Americans only knows exactly one person who has died of COVID-19. If we consider some of them know more than that, then the result should be even greater than 220.
196M (approximate adult US pop) / 3 / 500K (COVID-19 deaths) ~= 130
But the numbers, i.e. average American knows somewhere between 130 to 219 people, seem a bit high.
A women down the block, whom I did not know, died of it last year. Nor was she young, nor in particularly good general health.
1 - ((329500000 choose n_connections) / (330000000 choose n_connections))
That comes out to about 14% of American should expect to know someone who died of covid if everyone knows 100 people and its completely random who dies. With some clustering of social networks this seems like a pretty unsurprising number. It mostly depends on how people defined "knowing" someone. I would have guessed the percentage would be higher personally, but then, I don't know anyone who died from COVID.
Our oldest daughter's friend didn't get it despite it putting her 3 siblings and 2 parents on their ass for over a month.
My wife and I suspect it played a role in her father's death. This occurred soon after nursing home shutdowns in the state and he had been dead of "heart failure" far longer than they had said in the initial phone call. They were fairly evasive when asked follow up questions about what had occurred and my wife and mother in law had gotten influenza (and hospitalized from it in my mil's case) from the same nursing home. He was in there recovering from a physical injury but had been dealing with health issues for a few months already, so who knows. The important thing was that my wife had her first viewing of her dead father completely alone, followed up by a "funeral" of immediate family members. Oh yea, and this all happened soon after his birthday that she wasn't able to celebrate with him due to the lockdown.
I feel like focusing on total deaths, death rate, etc. sometimes misses the point and allows those who rebel against any measures taken a rhetorical out. I don't like being sick, I don't like my family being sick. We've had our entire family wiped out from things like the flu and gastroenteritis. It sucked and it was an absolutely miserable experience. So even if I was fully guaranteed that no one would die (which is unlikely given what happened previously with my mother in law who is currently living with us) I would do what I could to avoid coming down with it.
It is in your companies self-interest to have everyone home&working than having large numbers of staff out sick for days to weeks in batches as the virus cuts through open office floor plans and poorly ventilated conference rooms..
Our survey finds that the public remains fairly evenly split on the accuracy of the reported death toll, whether it is higher than reported, lower, or about right.
This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted February 19 to 22, 2021 by Ipsos using our KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,029 general population adults age 18 or older.
[EDIT: I am drawing "social circle" very broadly, to include a very, very large set of online-only friends.]
I had said at the beginning that there was a large crowd who would not take it seriously until they personally knew somebody who had died. They were also the ones most likely to not follow those rules. So I wonder to what degree their minds have changed.
I do not think it has to be someone exactly in your close circle, I think 'know' here means people you meet and maybe you have no contact with.
One of my friends traveled to 11 states, ate out regularly, etc. and never got it. Crazy.
(please don't take these statements as any sort of COVID denialism, just sharing some personal experience).
I think a lot of this depends on when COVID hit your area in force. The areas that got hit early in the pandemic knew quite a lot less about treating it effectively.
Some people have had it and been largely symptomless.
I don't know anyone who has died from it either. This is probably mostly commentary on my lack of social connections more than anything else.
I think the mix of asymptomatic or mild cases has been really bad for a coordinated response. It’s not hard to find people who were lucky, and there’s a constant chorus of people saying that’s all anyone healthy needs to worry about. Then you talk to a doctor, nurse, EMT, etc. and hear what it’s like on their side with unlimited overtime and patients ranging from the expected older / comorbidity cases to young people previously in good health.
Correlation is not causation
Just look at total deaths - all causes. The "they're just reclassifying normal deaths" conspiracy theory falls flat when you scroll to the "Weekly number of deaths (from all causes)" chart.
(If you can't find it, here's the screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/6bk0PtF)
"Not a single case of influenza has been detected by public health officials in England for the past seven weeks"
- People with kids in college who came home
- People who were more right wing (its all a hoax)
- Extroverts who refused to stay home / went to bars as much as allowed
And the commingling of above.
Fall/Winter wave was crazy.
Of the 30, 1 went to hospital, none died. Most of them were on their ass in bed for a week, and some have not had a return of normal taste/smell after 2 months.
I do have an indirect "know of" relative-of-relative who died, as a frontline nurse in area that took few precautions, during the summer wave sadly.
People still don't understand how quarantine and testing lag work, so I know of multiple scenarios like this:
* Person A feels off but tests negative in first 3 days so socializes with Person B. Then tests positive 2-4 days later.
* Person B starts to feel off after 2-3 days, gets contacted by Person A that hey I got it
* Person B goes and gets tested and pops a negative in first 3 days ...
From here if Person B quarantines and keeps re-testing until positive or clean for 14 days (unlike Person A) it's over.
However lot's of Person Bs kept going out and spreading..
One in my family turned a single kid coming home from college into 4 entire households sick in a week, and the guy who ended up in hospital was a Person C in this scenario.
It's really interesting to me how accounts of the virus differ so greatly from person to person. In my personal experience, I know of about a dozen people who have tested positive - all of whom showed few or no symptoms (usually exhaustion and a cough) and felt fine within a couple days and having no long term effects.
I'm sure part of it is influenced by the demographics of who you know (everyone I know was under 40). Confirmation bias might play a part (severe cases stand out more and may seem more representative than they really are), but I'm probably only suspecting that because my personal experience has been so different from yours. Could it have something to do with different regional strains with varying severity of symptoms?
1,000-person panel, weekly poll over the last 52 weeks.
That's a little small, but not that small. I wouldn't trust statements about demographic minorities out of their tiny fraction, but the 1-in-3 number across all 1,000 probably scales up with a single-digit MoE.
So .5 * 150 = 75; .5 * 250 = 125, so 110 is in the upper range of Dunbar's number which may reflect asymmetric "personal knowing," whereby someone may be personally known to others even if the others might not be personally known to someone. To me this makes intuitive sense since the disease mortality is skewed toward older people who I think would be known by more people.