Back in 2016, Euromomo began collecting all-cause death stats from 29 European countries, reported weekly. I use it as the headline image for illustrative purposes, in this single respect: given predominately natural causes, total mortality is a wave pattern. This is important. What goes up must come down and what goes down must come back up again. You see this in any sufficiently large enough time scale. This covers just shy of 6 years and the wave is evident, even in the midst of Covid-19.
If you stare at it for awhile, it might occur to you that if you moved the excess (that amount over and above 2017 and 2018 peaks)during the winter months of 2020 and 2021 then spread it out over the winter months of 2019, the whole thing might look a lot more symmetric. But that would be playing with data, right?
Yes it would. But how about if nature itself does it, but in a different way? Hold that thought. I’ll get back to it.
All-Cause Mortality Means All-Cause
If you Google all-cause mortality as I have been doing for a year, you might find it odd that a great number of the search results are Covid-19 and “Excess Death” results. If you try to go to actual raw data tables—just the facts, ma’am—you get warnings like “NOTE: All 2020 and later data are UN projections and DO NOT include any impacts of the COVID-19 virus.” If it’s just total mortality, all-cause, raw number of people who died, year by year, what does an “impact” of a particular cause mean? Isn’t that really tantamount to warning: “we haven’t yet figured out how to most effectively spin this data in order to ensure you come away believing that Covid was really, really bad, just like we said?” At one site, Our World In Data, it has a large time-scale chart that looks anything but ominous.
But you wouldn’t want to get the impression that Covid-19 is a mere blip of history, so you are admonished to take special care to go to the enormous Covid-19 Data Center. It’s right at the very top, bright yellow banner. At least it’s not flashing all together with a red siren. It has a full dozen categories under the single cause of Covid. No other pet causes of death are highlighted. I’m sure there’s data somewhere, but Covid is what they want you to look at.
This is where you enter The Spin Zone, where it’s now not just about death, but popular death.
There’s a subtle reason for it. All the data begins January 2020, not even 18 months ago, yet. No more is it the large time scales, where you visualize the data in the context of history. Look above. Did you ever realize that from 1965 to 1980, fewer people in absolute—not population adjusted—numbers were dying year over year? World population in 1965 was 3.3 billion and in 1980, 4.5 billion. So, in the midst of adding 1.2 billion people over 15 years, death went from about 50 million per year down to about 46 million per year. Astounding! Do you ever recall hearing such good news reported by the “news?”
Here’s another example, a little less obvious to interpret. This is population-adjusted.
You’re seeing the same thing, just more pronounced because it explains why total death went down while population was going up. It’s because life expectancy was increasing. That blue curve is deaths per 1,000 people of the population in a year. In 1950 it was 20 people per 1,000 population and appears to have bottomed out at 8 per 1,000 right about 2015 where, what went down must come up, wave-pattern fashion. Not important to dig into, but that big dip in the red curve, representing the percent of change year over year, is where 2-4% fewer people were dying each year than in the previous year from 1965 to 1980.
Let’s Cherry Pick and Play With Time Scales
One of the problems is that I cannot seem to find a final, or even preliminary total death count for the whole world in 2020 and we’re almost halfway through 2021. Six months is not long enough to gather raw death totals around the world? I think that if there was a super clear amount of what’s called “excess death” across the world in total, over the entire year, that data would not only be easily available, it would be in our faces. Now, maybe I’m just dense, but I sure seem to be able to find it easily enough for any of bunches of individual countries (but not all, not all together, and many are left out). I don’t seem to have any trouble getting all the data I want for 2019 and earlier.
So, here’s 2020 and those are the four countries they picked. You can add countries, but which ones? Of course, there is no All Countries option. It’s interesting how the UK was below expected mortality (compared to the average for the same period for the previous 5 years) for the first 2 1/2 months, then big spike that peaked very quickly, and it’s been pretty much ho-hum since—in spite of that dufus running the place—even dropping below expected mortality for a month or so, and then spiking down last September for a week. South Korea pretty much took Covid off.
So that’s the snapshot for December 31, so encompases the whole year. Lots of “no data,” which is curious, especially for the continent of Africa, notoriously pretty unscathed from Corona (some folks have some ideas about that).
But look now.
Here’s the snapshot for 2021 as of mid April, as the flu season is ending, and many northern hemisphere countries are in the blue, so experiencing up to 10% less mortality than expected. There’s that wave, again.
Here’s perhaps the most laughable and obvious data framing manipulation, once you look closely.
Did you spot it, yet? It’s “by age,” and while they use two data set for the 20 years from 64-84, then an additional set for 85+, they use a single set for the 50 years from 15-65. Why? Of course, so if you’re ignorant, looks like it killed anyone, no matter their age, with only a slight advantage for younger folks.
Unconscionable, dishonest, dirty dealing.
So, what if I just pick a handful of countries, northern and southern hemisphere? Surely you’ll see the Party Narrative that Covid is Covid and it’s bad, just bad. You can click on each chart to bring up in the large.
Clear as a bell, right?
So what is that penal colonies’ problem? There is no Covid problem whatsoever and hell, half the time they’re below expected deaths. That’s because the criminals who run the place kept everyone locked up, proving that prison does indeed save lives, especially from any sort of free living where shit happens like car accidents and people die in accepting that risk-reward tradeoff.
Chadistan Brazil famously nixed lockdowns and didn’t do so bad. A bit of excess, no real spike, but that’s the southern hemisphere, also mostly tropical, known for like 100 years to have different viral spread patterns. Lost knowledge in the era of “smart” phones and virtue by social media.
Germany? Jesus, they were awful practitioners of Covid in early 2020, being outdone by both expected death and a couple of previous years. Only now have they finally got their game face on!
UK. Yawn. You have a sharp spike for like a month, it peaks, and has been either downhill or pretty much tracking with expectations ever since. Boring. Is it that you’re just determined to keep on being That Place Where Great Britain Used To Be, in perpetuity?
Thailand. Wow, 2020 was an easy year for total death compared to 2019, looks like to me, eyeballing. Here’s a “fun fact” I just learned today, and the reason I just learned today is because I’ve never heard a single mention of it. It’s that 11,000 to 12,000 die year in, year out, from tuberculosis, for which there has been a vaccine since 1921 (albeit, not a great one). Digging in a little, it seems a lot of people die simply because they cannot afford the regime of effective treatment and only about 50% survive. Seems as though Thailand could get a lot more bang for the lifesaving buck if the enormous amounts spent on Covid “control” were channeled toward treating those thousands of truly sick people. As of today, Thailand has a total of 735 total Covid deaths in 2020 and 2021 combined.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
You might remember very early on in 2020 as the shit was hitting the fan in Italy, it was widely reported that well, Italy has one of, if not the most aged populations in Europe, on average. That was good thinking, since it’s correct and is the way to look at this, or at least integrate it if at all. Of course, marching orders were eventually promulgated globally and the narrative was set in, and facts like ‘how come UK’s average-age Covid death is two years higher than average life expectancy?’ were treated as mere huh! curiosities and not seriously, at least not in public view and scrutiny. It’s an important aspect that goes a long way towards understanding what’s fundamentally going on.
You remember the header image up top, and how 2019 was such a light year for winter deaths? Well, you can’t cheat death forever and if you do for a year or two, you’re only getting weaker and more susceptible by the day and it’s going to take less and less to kill you. If it wasn’t Covid, it would have been something else and for most pretty soon.
Ned Koch is a math, statistics, and data analysis expert. Here’s a chart he put together.
Remember the blue curve in the chart halfway up that’s decreasing from 1950 to the 2015-ish timeframe? Well, this is a zoom-in look at what’s been happen and will happen, Covid or not.
As you can see at the top chart the absolute numbers of deaths per 1000 people have been going up steadily, since 2015, at a rate of around 10 percent per year. This is due primarily to population ageing, which has been increasing in a very similar fashion. Since life expectancy has been generally stable in the US for the 2015-2020 period (1), an increase in the number of deaths is to be expected due to population ageing.
What I mean by population ageing is an increase in the average age of the population due to an increase in the proportion of older individuals (e.g., aged 65 or more) in the population. In any population where there are no immortals, this population ageing phenomenon is normally expected to cause a higher number of deaths per 1000 people.
Now look at the bottom chart in the figure. It shows no increase in the rate of change from 2019 to 2020. This is not what you would expect if COVID had led to an increase in all-cause mortality in 2020. In fact, based on media reports, one would expect to see a visible spike in the rate of change for 2020. If these numbers are correct, we have to conclude that COVID has NOT led to an increase in all-cause mortality.
And this is not talked about since it was pointed out that yea, lots are dying in Italy. They’re really damn old and not getting any younger. Duh.
It’s like common sense stuff.
Is anyone looking at this as a perfectly natural, predictable thing? Is anyone seeing the good from The Big Picture perspective? The world, on average, enjoyed an increasing average lifespan for 65 year, from 1950 to 2015, deaths per thousand, year over year, decreasing from 20 to 8. That’s one hell of a lot of millions that got more years of better quality and comfort. More time to spend with their families.
Nothing lasts forever. At a point, there’s a correction, just like in bull markets and a host of things in nature that follow ebb and flow wave patterns. Something was bound to come around eventually to knock out the most weak and frail in a shorter timeframe than the average.
How about a little realty check?