ET – ‘If someone has advanced Stage 4 lung cancer and gets run over by a bus and killed, what killed them? The bus accident or cancer?’
That is a very good argument, and I accept what you are attempting to convey, although by your own admission it is a dramatic example. However, to carry forward your analogy, what if it is vitally important to know exactly how many people are killed by buses because the future of buses in the public transport system depends upon it? Clearly this person will be counted as ‘killed by a bus’, even though their cancer might have caused them to stumble in front of an otherwise impeccably driven vehicle. And so was the blind person knocked down yesterday, and the careless drunk the day before, and the child that ran out into the street the day before that etc etc. If you are trying to establish how lethal buses are you cannot simply count every single person knocked over, you need to know on which occasions the bus was actually at fault. It seems haphazard at the very best to count all the death certificates containing the words ‘covid-19’ and then use this figure to calculate its lethality. Even less can we use such a figure to make comparisons with other countries when, as Duck pointed out, the systems for recording may differ.