Most of the United States is still in a COVID-19 case count lull, but the number of cases is soaring in other parts of the world.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center tells the story through its global map.
A map data chart presented alongside the map shows that, as of March 21, 10 countries ranked ahead of the United States in terms of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in the previous 28 days.
For a look at the five countries with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases recorded and reported in that period, see the gallery above.
Cases and Deaths
Vaccinations, booster shots, and new and improved treatments may reduce the odds that a case of COVID-19 will lead to death.
Problems with COVID-19 testing, death tracking and death reporting may throw off both COVID-19 case counts and death totals.
As of now, however, the Johns Hopkins map data chart shows that COVID-19 continues to cause a significant number of deaths, with a total of 192,513 reported deaths of people with COVID-19 over the previous 28 days.
For all countries in the 28-day map data, Johns Hopkins found 1 death of a patient with COVID-19 for every 238 new COVID-19 cases.
The United States ranks 11th in terms of new cases. When compared with other countries in the top 20 in terms of new cases, it ranks first in terms of total deaths and first in terms of the new-death-to-new-case ratio.
The United States has reported 34,084 deaths of people with COVID-19 over the past 28 days, and 1 death for every 37 new COVID-19 cases.
Russia ranks second over that same period, with 18,639 deaths and 1 death of a patient with COVID-19 for every 117 new COVID-19 cases.
What It Means
A COVID-19 surge may have only modest effects on health insurance claims, because a big spike in cases may crowd out care for other health conditions. Care crowdout may offset part or all of a big increase in spending on COVID-19 care.
A surge could have also led to an increase in life insurance claims, and in the number of death benefit payouts that annuity issuers must make to the beneficiaries of annuity holders who have died.
For retirement income planners, surges could increase life expectancy variability, with more clients dying earlier than expected, but many other clients on track to live past age 90.