Credit: Vusal Ibadzade / Scopio

The UK’s death-free covid surge

“Death free” is obviously an exaggeration, since yes, some people are still dying. But take a good look at this chart. The red line is deaths, the grey line is cases. In every previous wave, deaths surged about two weeks after cases surged. This time? Not happening:

That chart looks much more like the case/death chart you might expect to see for the winter flu, not a deadly coronavirus outbreak. So what’s happening?

Alec Stapp, who created the graph above, says that vaccination has severed the link between cases and deaths. There are very few arguments one could make to contradict that – it seems almost certain now that the vaccines are working well to render the pandemic toothless, if not over. But it is also worth noting that deaths are down amongst the unvaccinated, too, which is probably testament to the significantly reduced danger posed by the infamous Delta variant, at least in western countries with good health systems.

Are there other explanations? Well, there are a few: The obvious one you could make is that there are significant behavioural differences in society between the young and the old: The young are going out, socialising, and doing all the things that young people have always done. This increases their exposure to the virus, but, since they are young, reduces their risk of death compared to those infections if they had occurred in the older. The older, vaccinated, cohort is still the most cautious, and consequently, a much lower proportion of infections are occurring in that age group, which is more at risk. If you reversed the proportion of infections – and shoved most of the infections into older people, would the death rate change? We don’t know, but it’s a possibility.

What is mainly interesting, though, is that this data is sitting right in front of us. It is being repeated in almost every western society with a high number of vaccines: Cases rising, deaths not really rising at all. The conclusion is clear: Whether it is vaccines, age related caution, or some other explanation, this summer surge in the Delta variant, painted by Irish public health authorities as Armageddon, is not Armageddon at all. NPHET’s absurd predictions of catastrophe a few weeks ago look ever more ridiculous as the figures roll in.

And yet, there will be no consequence, and it is probable that most of the public would not want there to be a consequence. The “safety first” attitude is embodied by NPHET, but it is widely shared amongst the public, many of whom are completely ignoring the pandemic on a personal level, but seem to like the idea that the restrictions are in place, because it means somebody else is looking after them.

We also had this, yesterday, by the way:

A majority of those in Irish hospitals with Covid are not actually in hospital for covid at all, but for something else. That’s a very important piece of information, which is why you can be absolutely certain that if RTE mention it at all, it will be buried at the very tail end of a report, as a throwaway comment. The facts are simple, and impossible to refute: So far, there is no evidence at all that this new wave of Covid is a threat to Irish society, or to the life of the average Irish person. We should be far more open than we are. The fact that we are not is a disgrace.

Don’t let any of these people ever preach about “evidence based policymaking” again.

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