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Opinion

This is what we shot ourselves in the foot for – Hector Drummond

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:

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News

Coronavirus: Majority testing positive have no symptoms – BBC News

Only 22% of people testing positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Note: the article deduces that this shows the importance of asymptomatic transmission. However, cases of asymptomatic transmission has been found to be very rare.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53320155

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Publications

UK GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020 – Office for National Statistics

In June 2020, The Office for National Statistics released their Gross domestic product (GDP) report for April 2020. They calculated that GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April. This was directly caused by the UK government’s policy of lockdown.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpmonthlyestimateuk/april2020

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News

UK COVID-19: we protected our NHS by dying at home – Alistair Haimes

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News

Huge rise in number of people claiming benefits – BBC

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK soared to 2.1 million in April, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

But the labour market is set to worsen, according to politicians and analysts, with Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, telling the BBC on Tuesday that the unemployment rate was likely “to increase significantly”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52719230

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Publications

“Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19 – BMJ

Only a third of the excess deaths seen in the community in England and Wales can be explained by covid-19, new data have shown.

Of those 30 000, only 10 000 have had covid-19 specified on the death certificate. While Spiegelhalter acknowledged that some of these “excess deaths” might be the result of underdiagnosis, “the huge number of unexplained extra deaths in homes and care homes is extraordinary. When we look back . . . this rise in non-covid extra deaths outside the hospital is something I hope will be given really severe attention.”

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1931

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Opinion

Alistair Haimes: The virus that turned up late

“There are really only two particularly unusual things about the Covid-19 epidemic: the timing of its arrival and the lockdown some countries declared.”

Deaths per day, as is well-reported, peaked around Easter; and because deaths lag infections by something around three weeks, this implies that infections peaked sometime in mid-March. If you add up all the bars in the chart and fill in the blank area of deaths still to come, we are looking at a killer that, in scale, is bad-but-nothing-special compared to killers of previous years. Panning out: as a killer worldwide, it looks as though Covid is going to take a toll perhaps 1% of 1918’s Spanish Flu.

…the dark blue line is 2019-20, with Covid-19; the turquoise and red lines are the bad flu years of 1998-99 and 1999-2000.

…Covid-19 is narrowly in third place as a killer to remember, behind the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 influenzas (2017-18’s ‘Beast from the East’, the green line, doesn’t place), a point also made by American statistician William Briggs.

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News

Even the BBC is starting to admit the lockdown is causing deaths

BBC: Coronavirus: Deaths at 20-year high but peak may be over

Summary:

  • “A third [of deaths in the week up to 10 April] were linked to coronavirus, but deaths from other causes also increased, suggesting the lockdown may be having an indirect impact on health.”
  • “On Tuesday [21 April] 823 new deaths were announced, but most of these happened in the previous days and weeks. Some even date back to March.”
  • “But the ONS also said deaths from other causes rose too.”
  • “The number of deaths from flu and pneumonia…is three times higher than the total number of coronavirus deaths this year.”
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News Opinion

Coronavirus Lockdown and What You Are Not Being Told Part 2 – Off-Guardian

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News

2,500 extra non-Covid deaths in a week! Collateral damage from the lockdown? – InProportion2

InProportion2 analyses the latest figures from Office for National Statistics, week ending 3 April 2020.

http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/collateral_judgement.html

Source: Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, Cambridge University
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News Opinion

What are we to make of the latest figures on deaths, Covid-19 or otherwise? – Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/04/an-attempt-to-gather-some-facts-on-the-present-stateof-the-covid-19-crisis-warning-no-conclusion.html

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News

Ineffective flu vaccine added to 50,000 extra deaths last winter, ONS says – Independent (2018)

The flu vaccine’s failure to protect against some of the key strains of the infection contributed to more than 50,000 “extra” deaths in England and Wales last winter, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/flu-vaccine-deaths-nhs-ineffective-crisis-bad-weather-illness-2017-a8660496.html?__twitter_impression=true

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News

Mortality rates are rising in the UK – and everyone is ignoring it – New Statesman

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2019/07/mortality-rates-are-rising-uk-and-everyone-ignoring-it

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Publications

Office for National Statistics Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending20march2020