Pandemic, or plain panic?

Coronavirus deaths are still at tiny, tiny levels

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

Brexit Facts4EU.Org suggests keeping a sense of proportion in all this pandemonium

“Aargh! We’re all going to die….”

Er, yes, unfortunately that’s right. We are. But at the current rates we will not be dying of Coronavirus. Sadly there are many other things all lined up to kill us.

This Saturday the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team presents some basic facts to keep us all sane and perhaps a little more optimistic.

Please note that we use WHO data on the Coronavirus. This was correct as of 4.00am this morning, Saturday 21 Mar 2020. For all other sources of official information please see the bottom of the article.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

What’s the “normal” death rate in the UK?

  • On an average March day in England in the last five years, 1,430 people died – per day
  • In the whole of 2018, there were 541,589 deaths registered in England and Wales

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

So where does the Coronavirus fit in to this picture?

  • In an average year in England alone, 123,500 people died between the start of the year and today, 21 March
  • So far this year, 144 deaths have been attributed to the Coronavirus in the whole of the UK
  • 144 Coronavirus deaths is 0.11% - a tenth of one percent of all deaths expected at this point in the year

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

Almost all of those declared as victims of the Coronavirus had other underlying health issues.

The reality of death rates by age in the UK

Newspapers have been publishing graphs and information which are very worrying for older people. These show that the mortality rate for older people from the Coronavirus is much higher than for young people.

What they fail to show are the ‘normal’ mortality rates. It is of course a fact of life that a higher proportion of older people die each day. The older you get, the more likely you are to die. It’s inevitable.

Below we show the number of people who died from all causes in 2018, by age group

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

And finally we show the forecast death rate by age group from the Coronavirus

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

As readers can see, the age trend for the Coronavirus is very similar to the age trend for deaths from all other causes.

Is this virus worrying? Of course it is, especially in some EU countries

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus is worrying. In the Lombardia region of northern Italy it has had a significant impact, particularly on the elderly. The EU is now the world’s epicentre of the virus with more deaths than China, despite China having a population three times the size of the EU27’s.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org is known for researching official facts. In the case of the Coronavirus this is hampered because some key facts are in short supply. The picture for virus-testing across the EU countries is highly variable. It is simply not possible for us to bring you any reasonable estimates of the likely effect of this disease, as the numbers and rates vary so widely from country to country and even from region to region.

Getting things in proportion

We doubt many readers will have known the average number of deaths per day in the country. Why would you?

In the absence of firm facts on the Coronavirus one thing we can do is to bring you facts about the ‘normal’ number of deaths each day and each year – something which perhaps most people would not normally wish to dwell upon.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Some basic facts to remember

  • Today on an average March day, 1,430 people will die in England
  • In an average year 123,500 people will have died in England by the first day of spring (today)
  • In the whole of the UK this year so far, 144 people are reported to have died from the Coronavirus

Observations

No-one would argue that the Coronavirus should be ignored. Even without all the data we might wish for, it is obvious that rapid action had to be taken to control its spread.

Our difficulty is with the sheer scale of governments’ responses in so many countries and the inevitable global depression this will cause if it continues.

Right now we are deeply troubled at the way in which the world’s economies are being wrecked, people’s jobs and their civil liberties are disappearing overnight, and normal family and social life is set to become a memory.

We suspect that deaths from stress and hardship arising from governments' actions will never be factored into the 'balance sheet'. If they were, some decision-makers might have a lot to answer for.

If this pandemic really is worthy of such panic and pandemonium, then we would like to see far more evidence than is currently available from the World Health Organisation, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European [EU - ed.] Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

What can we compare with?

There have been many health scares since the ’flu pandemic of 1918 which is estimated to have killed 17 million to 50 million people. Recent examples include :

  • HIV/Aids in the 1980s
  • Mad Cow Disease in the 1990s
  • SARS in 2002
  • Avian (bird) ’flu in 2005

None of the above came anywhere close to fulfilling the alarmist predictions from the WHO and other global bodies such as the UN.

It is of course quite possible that this latest virus is in fact a deadly threat to the world. It could even be as bad as the Spanish ’flu pandemic 100 years ago. Alternatively it could prove to be more akin to the various health scares which have come and gone since then, and which are barely mentioned now.

As far as we are concerned the jury is still out on the possible effects of the pandemic. However, when it comes to the drastic actions now being taken by governments and the talk of these lasting until next year, we fear that these are disproportionate.

A message from Brexit-Puppy and his friends

    

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[ Sources: World Health Organisation | UK Department of Health | US Center for Disease Control | European (EU) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention | British Medical Journal | Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team | several UK doctors ]
Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 21 Mar 2020

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