A truly remarkable, and largely unremarked, phenomenon is emerging in the European excess death data, as recorded for all to see in EuroMOMO. It is especially marked in the UK ONS data (which is, I think, the same as EuroMOMO uses). Now that there is effectively no COVID in Britain, following the ONS stats has become a sporadic exercise for me. But once my attention was drawn to this new trend, my interest has returned.
The familiar peaks of deaths associated with COVID are, as I have discussed before, not necessarily that remarkable when one factors in false positives and excess deaths due to lockdown itself (according to UK sources 30%). It is, after all, highly suspicious that influenza apparently became extinct this winter, strongly suggesting that the compulsion to label everything as COVID has played a large part in the counting.
The most unusual factor in these charts was the first peak, which occurred very late in the infectious disease season last year, whereas in most countries this winter’s excess deaths were equivalent to a moderately bad flu year, and not up there even with the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-9, let alone 1917. The curves look as bad as they do largely because we have had an unusual run of good years for a decade or so, and the easily-accessible datasets were not set up long before then.
I’ve also read analyses showing why the testing rates have tended to underestimate last spring’s “cases” when defined by PCR testing (many were then serious cases diagnosed clinically), and overestimate the winter peak.
But since March, this has been happening in Britain:
As you see, the excess death rate has plummeted almost as far below normal as the winter peak was above it, and shows no sign of slowing so far. That does appear to be historically unprecedented in a way the “pandemic of the century” was not.
Furthermore, it is a Europe-wide phenomenon, as the latest EuroMOMO summary shows:
There are individual countries bucking the trend to some extent and still exhibiting fairly high death-rates, but even in France, where M. Macron has plunged the country into another lockdown because of increased cases of the “English variant,” the death rate on the ground shows this to be foolishness:
No doubt French experts, like most governments committed to whatever unstated ideology they are committed to, say the new lockdown is what has saved the situation. But in fact the Worldometer data shows deaths were never showing a significant increase in France, unlike “cases” with all their many sampling errors.
Worldwide comparisons are hard to make, because the Worldometer figures are for “COVID deaths,” with all their bizarre and meaningless definitions, rather than excess deaths, which from the start has been known to be the most useful measure of a pandemic. But the European phenomenon is hard enough to explain, whether or not it is occurring elsewhere.
The most obvious reason for it would be that COVID (plus or minus other causes of death) has cleared out all the “low hanging fruit” amongst the elderly and infirm, whom we know to have borne the brunt of this virus, otherwise unusually benign for the bulk of the population. But just look at EuroMOMO’s age-related data:
As you see the astonishing drop in deaths -far, far below normal for any time of year, let alone April – spans all the ages, including children who have, essentially, zero mortality from COVID and precious little from other causes in civilised Europe.
I learned about this amazing phenomenon from a piece in Lockdown Skeptics, where the emphasis was on the intriguing possibility that, if this trend persists, we might see that the total COVID phenomenon balances out to average, thus producing the curious event of a pandemic that overall affected nothing except what human policies caused. But surely it’s more interesting to wonder what possible explanation the drop has, however things turn out later, since I very much doubt that battle-weary doctors have just given up reporting any deaths.
Neither is it plausible that any COVID policies have produced such a drop, when they signally failed to prevent the deaths attributed to the virus itself over the winter. Only in the UK has a really successful vaccination policy been achieved, and that has not impacted the lower age groups even here, yet. Thank goodness the clotting problems have raised at least a few qualms about vaccinating non-COVID-vulnerable children willy-nilly.
The commonest cause of death in younger children in Europe is developmental malignancy, followed by accidents. Neither of these will, in practice, have been reduced much by COVID, given that the nurseries have been open, toddlers have been in the back-seat when Mum goes shopping, and accidents in the home will, if anything increased, along with child abuse.
So all in all, I can think of no convincing explanation, and it’s one of the most scientifically interesting things to have emerged over the last year, in my book. Most of the science has frustratingly simply showed up the bankruptcy of government policies, and their contempt for evidence, at the cost of many lives and the world’s economy and political freedom. But also some genuine insights have been gained about viral illnesses by the abnormal focus on this one organism, once one can sift through the dross.
But a virus whose long-term effect is the dramatic reduction of death from all causes: that’s something worth investigating. Or at least, BBC, it is worth mentioning in your news coverage.