Spot the correlation

Just a short piece with a second-hand chart, which is instructive if you haven’t seen it. It shows the COVID death rates across the US states:

The yellow lines show the average across locked down and open states, which as you will see shows little appreciable difference.

Now, there are many factors affecting death rates, as is shown by the wide range of outcomes. Clearly climate and other geographical factors, population, demographics and so on make a big difference. But what is completely apparent is that lockdown policies are not among the significant factors, for the minority of non-locked down states is scattered right across the range, except for the 8 top states, which were significantly worse off and locked down severely.

That does put a big nail in the coffin of Boris Johnson’s argument that our draconian, but rather laxly observed, lockdown is the reason for our rapid fall in cases, even if the chronological non-correlation with its imposition did not, nor the many studies now that have shown minimal to no beneficial effect of lockdowns, and the other studies showing their catastrophic fallout. I suppose the truth will eventually trickle out, but in the current Babylonish Captivity of science it may not protect us from further incarceration next winter.


The other major strand to consider is whether, even if lockdowns had worked, they were proportionate to the actual damage caused by this virus. Again, this is a subject I’ve covered extensively, as have many others. But one graph of UK mortality rates since records began says it all, from a current BMJ article:

As you see, the absolute rate per 100,000 was higher in every year before 2003. The article also shows that when standardised for age, it was higher in every single year before 2008. Now, remember that in terms of causation, the mini-peak in 2020 was not only due to COVID, but to the additional unnecessary deaths due to lockdown, which are currently estimated at about 24% based on certification data, but may well be higher if false positives and other over-diagnosis is taken into account.

You may have read here or elsewhere that across much of the world, and even Europe, the death rates have been at or below average. It certainly puts a more balanced perspective on this “once in a century pandemic.”

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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