At the beginning of March, Andrew Noymer felt a familiar twinge of doubt. He was watching countries across Europe and North America begin to record their first deaths from COVID-19, and he knew there could be problems with the data. …There were bound to be deaths from COVID-19 going unreported, thought Noymer, a demographer at the University of California, Irvine. “I just remember thinking, ‘this is going to be really difficult to explain to people’,” he recalls. And in March and April, when national statistics offices began to release tallies of the number of deaths, it confirmed his suspicions: the pandemic was killing a lot more people than the COVID-19 figures alone would suggest.