“The ONS (Office for National Statistics, AD) provides age standardised mortality rates per 100 000 back to 1942, which take account of changes in the age structure of the population. These show huge improvements in death rates since the second world war, with age standardised mortality rates more than halving between 1942 and 2019 (fig 4). But last year bucked the almost straight downward trend to record the highest death rate since 2008 and the highest year-on-year increase since 1943 (fig 5).
John Appleby, The British Medical Journal’s Director of Research and Chief Economist ( https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/373/bmj.n896.full.pdf )
My take on it
To be clear, these figures are for England and Wales.
But the point is, Do they surprise you?
The advent of Covid-19 last year was accompanied by what I would call the greatest orchestrated fear campaign in the history of the world.
These statistics suggest that the hysteria was just a tad out of proportion.
I was struck by the opening statement in the article; and by what followed:
“The covid-19 pandemic caused huge loss of life last year. The attribution of deaths to covid-19 will have
changed within countries over the course of the pandemic, partly as a result of changes in testing and
under-recording of covid-19 as a cause early on in the pandemic; there is also variation between countries
because of differences in the practice of recording deaths.”
.We are shown a graph of annual deaths with a spike in it; and that spike is attributed to Covid-19.
There are other plausible theories, and other pieces to the puzzle. One is that policy intervention, including Lockdown, has caused more deaths than the virus itself. Another is that a specific virus has yet to be confirmed as causative for the relevant disease. (See Koch’s Postulates .) A third is that attribution has dogged this situation from the beginning. The article refers to ‘under-recording’; whereas my reading would suggest that the opposite has applied, in some cases flagrantly.