The travel and tourism industry has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, with lockdowns and travel restrictions all but shutting business at times.
Telegraph Cartoonist Bob Moran makes an interesting comment about this BBC News article.
This is a great example of how mad people (the BBC) have become. In attempting to demonstrate how serious the current situation is, they accidentally show that everything is completely normal and remind us that when things were actually bad, we didn’t even notice.@bobscartoons on Twitter, 29 January 2021
ONLY 388 people aged under 60 without underlying health conditions have died of coronavirus in hospitals across England, NHS data shows.
The figure is just 0.8 per cent of all Covid fatalities recorded in English hospitals between April 2 and December 23.
The Office for National Statistics said borrowing hit £31.6bn last month, the highest November figure on record.
It was also the third-highest figure in any month since records began in 1993.
Since the beginning of the financial year, borrowing to cover the gap between spending and revenues has reached £240.9bn, £188.6bn more than a year ago.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that the amount could reach £372.2bn by the end of the financial year in March
Deaths within 28 days of positive test by date of death last updated on Sunday 20 December 2020.
- Intensive care ward occupancy down to 75% from 84% this time last year
- Hospitals across country declaring incidents as they struggle to cope
- But wards are less busy too – 89% full compared to 95% in December 2019
- NHS warns of invisible pressures unique to Covid, such as ward segregation
NHS data still shows hospitals to be quieter than they were this time last year even as coronavirus’s second wave bites and the number of Covid patients approaches levels seen in the crisis’s peak in April.
- Sir David Spiegelhalter suggested the Government tried to ‘manipulate’ Britons
- Cherry-picked ‘worst-case scenarios’ to ‘instill a certain emotional reaction’
- No10 lambasted for its apocalyptic graphs and spurious data shown to public
- Despite the fearmongering, the number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak back in April
- Latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off
- GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates of Covid-19
- Analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure Boris Johnson has the most up-to-date information
Government forced to reissue key charts used to justify second lockdown after admitting projected fatalities were overstated
Official projections which pushed the country into a second lockdown have been quietly revised to no longer suggest deaths could soon overtake those at the peak of the first wave, The Telegraph has learned.
- Only 17 people under 40 died with Covid between the end of August and the middle of this month.
- Increased infections among children and young adults has not led to their hospitalisations or deaths.
- One person under the age of 20, and another 13 under 40, have died with coronavirus in English hospitals since the start of September.
- 1,425 patients over 80 have died over the same period, along with another 1,093 aged between 60 and 79.
- 247 deaths among working-age people since the end of summer compared with 2,026 among pensioners
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has gone back to Plan A, reviving his ‘protect the NHS’ message from March and now wears a facemask with those words on it. The Prime Minister is repeating the slogan. It’s deeply controversial with senior doctors who fear that it discourages the sick from seeking help – which might explain the 28,000 excess at-home deaths over the last few months. The NHS is worried about this and has countered with its own advert, urging people to seek medical help. I looked at this in my latest Daily Telegraph column.
The NHS has learned much from the first wave of Covid. PPE equipment, for example, is now in bountiful supply. Basic medical techniques – better use of blood thinners, oxygen therapy, steroids etc – are having a big impact on survival rates. When Boris Johnson went into intensive care, his survival chances were about 50 per cent. Now, they would be closer to 70 per cent. The trajectory this time is nowhere near as daunting – the below graph shows the rise of Covid patients needing critical care. As the data shows, intensive care unit (ICU) usage is 13 per cent of what it was at the end of March. (These figures are from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre.)
To judge from the evidence, the answer is clear: Mandated lockdowns had little effect on the spread of the coronavirus. The charts below show the daily case curves for the United States as a whole and for thirteen U.S. states. As in almost every country, we consistently see a steep climb as the virus spreads, followed by a transition (marked by the gray circles) to a flatter curve. At some point, the curves always slope downward, though this wasn’t obvious for all states until the summer.
…The evidence suggests, then, that the sweeping, mandated lockdowns that followed voluntary responses exacted a great cost, with little effect on transmission. We can’t change the past, but we should avoid making the same mistake again.
A USA TODAY analysis shows the state’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not schoolchildren – driving the trend, the analysis found.
- Sweden’s total deaths per million in population as of July 14 is 549. That’s considerably lower than the deaths per million rate in the UK, which is 662, and in Spain, which is 608. In Belgium, the death rate is 884.
- Sweden deaths per million is many times better than the rates found in New Jersey and New York: 1,763 and 1,669.
- Articles condemning Sweden’s “failure” rarely if ever mention these comparisons.
- Nonlockdown Sweden has a death rate similar to harsh-lockdown France can only be explained by claiming France didn’t lock down harshly enough or long enough.
- Two weeks after the WHO’s prediction that Sweden will have a resurgence in COVID-19, both cases and deaths in Sweden continue to trend downward.
- Thanks to Sweden we know what both lockdown and nonlockdown countries look like: they look remarkably similar in some cases.
- After all, after failing to implement a lockdown for months, Sweden is still nowhere near matching the death rates reported in New York.
In reality many of the people who died from Covid-19 were likely to die this year anyway, so in one respect this estimate is likely to be too high. In another respect it’s likely to be too low, as it will not include ‘lockdown deaths’, that is, the deaths from delayed cancer and heart treatments, and so on, but as I was interested in the effect of Covid-19 I didn’t want those in my graph anyway. (Another complication is that not everyone who is classed as a Covid-19 death actually died from it, but I decided to ignore this.)
The five year average for 2015-19 is 531,355 deaths per year. As of writing this there were 42,462 Covid-19 deaths in the UK. There are likely to be a few more deaths in the next few weeks, but not many more, as the disease is (barring an unlikely second wave in winter), on its way out. Besides, the number we are adding on here is for the whole of the UK, not just England and Wales, so if anything this number is inflated. That gives us 573,817 deaths for 2020. Then I got hold of the historical population figures for England and Wales, and calculated the death rates per 1000 from it, so that population increases are taken account of. Here is the result:
Novelist Hector Drummond decided to look at the annual death figures for England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics. This is what he found after graphing the numbers all the way back to the turn of the twentieth century.
The 2020 death figures on the right cannot even be considered a spike over the course of the century.
He explained his methodology in this post:
Stockholm is the best population to test Covid theory whereby it was hit hard early and did not have lockdowns. Nobel Prize winner Dr Michael Levitt postulated that the virus burns out when it has infected 15-20% of the population. According to this, he’s right.
So what does this mean? Lockdowns were a waste of time and resources. Minimizing deaths just delays the inevitable. Those countries which were not hit are most likely to see continued spikes and outbreaks. Maybe less during the summer but a second wave later this year.