Greatest or smallest pandemic in a century?

The official UK figure for COVID deaths over the last two years is around 150,000. But with a definition, initially, of “death after a positive PCR test” and latterly of “death within 28 days of a positive COVID test” that figure is highly suspect.

At this point it’s worth noting that when I first wrote on the subject, just before the first lockdown in March 2020, the Imperial College worst-case scenario for the immediate future was 400,000, five times higher than the probable figure for Hong Kong Flu in 1968-9. It is why we locked down. That 150K figure is for two years, and in its own right compares far more to the Hong Kong Flu figure for one year than Ferguson’s worthless projection – a pandemic that was barely noticed and didn’t even dent the economy, despite a much younger demographic and a smaller population.

But apparently new analysis shows that the mortality for COVID without underlying morbidities has been a mere 17,000 over the whole pandemic. 8,500 a year is only 10% of the Hong Kong Flu, and would barely warrant a mention in the press if the response to it had not been so catastrophic.

Yet, to be fair, neither the “deaths with COVID” figure, nor the “COVID deaths without underlying disease” give the best assessment of the seriousness of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak itself. Under normal circumstances (as was the case in 1968-9) pandemic mortality would be judged by excess deaths over the average. But, as I was saying over a year ago, the disaster of lockdown policies means that many excess deaths are this time the result of the treatment, not the disease.

Apart from the obfuscation of iatrogenic deaths from the vaccines, often concealed both by their non-COVID pathology and by excluding vaccine adverse reaction as a possibility definitionally in many instances, there are other directly treatment-related deaths, unrecognised in the data. The reliance on intubation and ventilation (on Chinese advice) early in the pandemic directly resulted in the death of many, as did treatment with toxic Remdesivir or ridiculously overdosed hydroxychloroquine. Furthermore, if there is any truth in the rumour that Fentanyl and Midazolam were prodigally prescribed in care homes, many of the deaths there should not have been attributed to COVID, but to deliberate poisoning.

That apart, though, we all know how many deaths from suicide, alcoholism, heart disease, cancer and other conditions neglected because of the focus on COVID there have been. Or rather, we don’t know, but can take a guess from the excess death figures. This latest version of such deaths confirms the ongoing non-COVID excess continues as it has since last July, accounting for around as many deaths as have been attributed to COVID – and remember what a high proportion of the latter are likely to be only incidentally COVID-related.

No, what we really need to know are the numbers of deaths caused by SARS – “Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” in the presence of a positive PCR, although it would be reasonable to assume that few of these since 2020 would have any other cause than SARS-CoV-2. This figure ought to be easy to extract – every patient so suffering would have been treated in hospital and usually an ITU, and the diagnosis is not clinically hard to make under such circumstances.

SARS, after all, is what makes COVID a lethal disease beyond other corona and flu viruses. A patient with cardiac failure or end-stage diabetes who succumbs to a pneumonia that happens to involve SARS-CoV-2 rather than Influenza B or even a common cold should justly be excluded from the COVID death toll. On the other hand, a patient who, through obesity, Vitamin D deficiency or metabolic syndrome relapses into SARS a week after his (usually, rather than her) cough and loss of taste is right to be included as a COVID death even with his underlying conditions.

I have a strong suspicion that the number of these true COVID deaths would be rather closer to the 17,000 than the 150,000 figure, but it would certainly be somewhere between them, making this pandemic at worst middling in the scheme of things. The trouble is, this obvious and crucial statistic is not revealed to us, either because the NHS eedjits failed to record it, or because they didn’t want to inform, but only to control.

The same old story, in fact, that we have seen from the start.

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.
This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Greatest or smallest pandemic in a century?

  1. Robert Byers says:

    Excellent points about comparing to the Hong Kong thing. indeed less noticed then the Beatles breakup. i don’t know final results and its very sad. it was also the elderly /inferior immune system that suffered. the history on this will be written twenty years from now. for muself it was always a minor nEW flu. i was surprised by the large numbers of deaths in america however. so i was wrong about its impact. however it looks now like a big humbug or a humbug although still something to manage.
    Common sense and servile obedience did take place and hurt everyone.

  2. Gordon says:

    I have made my own graph, which has also been done by a few others (thankfully they look similar) which compares 2020/2021 mortality with the 20 year average based on ONS population adjusted figures.

    As we don’t have pandemics very often, thankfully, I think it’s reasonable to use a 20 year average to highlight the impact of the recent crisis. I think it gives credibility to Mike Yeadon’s initial assertion that that pandemic was over by summer 2020.

    https://twitter.com/followgordon/status/1471169549517135873?s=21

    • Jon Garvey says:

      Indeed, Gordon. It’s only the excess deaths that give a reliable measure of the pandemic, and (as I’ve recently pointed out) that is severely skewed by the lethal effects of lockdowns, and in all likelihood the vaccines.

      As is being universally admitted now, even by government ministers, the “Covid death count” has been massively inflated by the way the deaths have been defined… like everything in COVID, in lockstep across the world thanks to Fauci, and others less visible.

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