“Experts” are slaughtering people to win a PR war against virus

A study by economists and academics from Sheffield and Loughborough universities suggests that more than 21,000 people have died as a result of the measures, which were introduced in March.

The analysis examines Office for National Statistics (ONS) data in the eight weeks that followed the national lockdown.

Researchers said the findings show that “lockdown has killed 21,000 people” because the policy has had “significant unintended consequences” such as lack of access to critical healthcare and a collapse in Accident and Emergency attendances.

The study examines deaths data in recent months and tracks it against long-term trends, taking account of other variables such as demographic and economic factors.


 
It suggests that the lockdown, and the subsequent reduction in access to healthcare, increased total mortality by roughly 2,700 deaths a week.

It follows warnings that the number of people attending A&E departments fell by 50 per cent at some points during the pandemic, while urgent referrals for suspected cancer dropped by 70 per cent. Separate research warns such delays could mean up to 35,000 extra deaths from cancer a year.

The new analysis, by the University of Sheffield, Loughborough University and economists at Economic Insight, suggests that the number of deaths that were not caused by coronavirus dwarfed the numbers that were.

It suggests that on average, there were roughly 4,000 more deaths from other causes than those which were caused by           Covid-19 in the lockdown period.”

 
The estimates suggest 21,544 extra deaths in the first eight weeks of lockdown – an average of 2,693 a week.

Researchers said the continuation of social distancing measures means the total death toll caused by lockdown and its knock-on effects may be yet larger.

 
Australians have a right to know how many excess deaths have been caused by our own lockdown mania.

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38 Responses to “Experts” are slaughtering people to win a PR war against virus

  1. Since when has the Left ever considered, or even cared, about the unintended consequences of their actions.

  2. Megan

    There’s no one here with the courage or intellectual capacity to begin working it out.

  3. Megan

    Even if they did work it out, name one media outlet that would print it.

  4. gary

    Covid is a form of the trolley problem, i.e two choices:

    1. have a lockdown and endure the deaths and economic damage from the lockdown, or:
    2. not have a lockdown and endure the deaths of those old sick and obese people who can’t be quarantined from the virus.

    Australia seems to be choosing to have both, a lockdown first, then let Covid spread.

  5. Roger

    Australia seems to be choosing to have both, a lockdown first, then let Covid spread.

    There was a third option put on the table by epidemiologists early on which was a targetted approach that avoided a general lockdown.

    The CMOs won the day.

  6. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    We are a social species, but people are terrified due to media hype. Either that, or they are dismissive.

    I had to attend Emergency as an urgent patient last Thursday at a major Sydney hospital sent by my GP for a DVT that if not treated immediately by a specialist may have been life-threatening. Someone with this at home, presenting as a swollen leg, may have decided not to risk ‘Covid’ by attending a GP or Emergency; they could have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach which could kill them. The Emergency waiting room was deserted. It is usually one that is very busy. It was rather weird to see it empty. The figures suggest people are putting off coming in for things that should be seen and that may cause deaths.

  7. Tezza

    CL’s link is to a paywalled newspaper, but the underlying research seems to be:
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3635548

    There is also a shorter, non-technical summary at https://www.economic-insight.com/2020/07/27/insight-non-technical-summary-of-paper-on-covid-deaths/

  8. MACK

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare – those doctors at the big Sydney hospitals will tell you about all the burst appendixes if you ask them. Your story confirms that the same effect seen in the UK is happening here, and will soon be even worse in Victoria – State of Disaster.

  9. Some History

    The Hunchback with the Premier of Victoria ready for their presser this afternoon.

    https://imgur.com/8xE13TY

  10. Knuckle Dragger

    Damn straight.

  11. pbw

    The Speccie UK sends me Covid update notes. This came the other day.

    On 12 May, the government stopped publishing international comparisons of its Covid-19 death toll in the daily press briefings. The argument was that the data wasn’t helpful, and perhaps even misleading: the way calculations were carried out varied country-by-country, with each country was on a different timescale for experiencing the peak of infections and death. There would be a time for international comparisons, but that time wasn’t now.

    Today, the ONS starts to pick up where the press briefings left off, comparing excess mortality rates throughout Europe. The data is not specifically calculating Covid-19 deaths, but rather all-cause mortality compared with the five-year average. This is the metric the UK’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty described as ‘key’ for determining how successfully the government had handled the crisis. The revelations cast Britain’s Covid-19 experience in a positive [I think this is a typo – pw] light. So far, England has the highest level of deaths in Europe, and the second highest national peak of weekly excess deaths: ‘The highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid at 432.7 per cent (week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city at 249.7 per cent (week ending 17 April).’ But it’s not just bad news for England: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all in the top eight countries with the highest rate of excess deaths, cooling the theory that public health has been handled in a dramatically superior or inferior way across the four regions.

    Mortality rates

    The most generous interpretation of today’s data is that the ONS is compiling calculations that still vary between countries. Just a few weeks back it was revealed that Public Health England’s method for calculating Covid-19 deaths may be seriously over-exaggerating the figures, by including anyone who has tested positive for the virus at some point, even if they recover and then subsequently pass away. This extreme classification of a Covid-19 death may play a role in putting England at the top of list. Still, this does not explain why other regions in the UK would have fared so poorly, nor is the ONS data just accounting for Covid-19 deaths. The excess mortality figures will include Covid-19 deaths, but also those resulting from lockdown: limited access to treatment for other ailments, deprioritised medical emergencies, domestic abuse, suicides, and a myriad of other tragedies exasperated by the circumstances. Lack of capacity in the NHS and the blunt action politicians had to take to create it (transferring thousands of elderly patients into care homes without a Covid-19 test, suspending treatments for serious illnesses) will have no doubt contributed to the UK’s poor showing. A new study out today from academics at Sheffield and Loughborough universities estimates that Britain’s lockdown measures have resulted in 21,000 deaths, primarily due to the shutdown of critical medical care and limited access to A&E.

    It is also notable that the UK’s excess death toll is so high despite not ever experiencing an outbreak so acute that it overwhelmed the health service. Scenes of hospitals being overrun in Italy were avoided in the UK. London – which at the beginning of the pandemic was thought could go the way of Lombardy or Madrid – has actually fared moderately compared with other major European cities. However, the number of excess deaths under the age of 65 is disproportionately high in the capital (more than 200 per cent at the peak, almost the same as the over-65 rate), calling into question the protection and shielding of groups vulnerable to the virus regardless of age.

    With much of the Covid-19 data outstanding and difficult to compare, it is still too early to say definitively how the UK’s death toll compares to the rest of Europe. But today’s ONS figures do give us major insight into the government’s handling of the crisis so far – that is, the extent to which British residents were shielded from both the virus and the knock-on effects of lockdown. The verdict, so far, is that Britain’s institutions have failed the stress test.

  12. One that is being kept quiet is the rate of suicides here. I have seen it very briefly mentioned and heard a Melbourne caller into 2GB about it.

    Suicide is not normally mentioned in the press but common sense says it must be up. Common sense would also suggest the age of those dying of suicide would be significantly younger than Covid.

    Then add in earlier deaths due to not presenting for cancers, heart problems etc.

    Where are the Uni researchers on this ?

  13. pbw

    Look on the bright side. The lockdown is unlikely to stop the spread of Covid-84 now, but the upside is that Victoria may in a couple of months find itself in the enviable situation of Sweden, where, on present indications, the elusive herd immunity has been achieved, and Victorians can welcome visitors without fear of the consequences, and be welcomed in other states and countries in the same way.
    Pity about the economy and the preventable “collateral damage” deaths and morbidities.

  14. egg_

    “Experts” are slaughtering people to win a PR war against virus

    “Experts” are slaughtering the Economy = the people

    Enabled by dimwit pollies.

  15. Simon Morgan

    This could be why anyone who has died with COVID-19 in their system is counted as a COVID-19 victim.

    They have to keep the numbers as high as possible!!

  16. egg_

    Covid is a form of the trolley problem

    It was from the outset back in February, our Summer season, when we were in a good position seasonally – how quickly weak Politicians buckled from the herd immunity position.

    We are now enjoying their fruits.

  17. pbw

    gary,

    It’s misleading to say the trolley problem presents two choices. In the trolley problem, there is a current situation, not of the agent’s making. The agent is offered one possible action, which will purportedly lower the pending (and presumed) death toll from the unfolding situation. The choice is between intervening in hopes of a lower death toll, and not intervening. It’s easy to demonstrate that adopting a policy of intervening rapidly leads to some very nasty consequences.

  18. mem

    Pandemic shutdowns saw huge decreases in babies born prematurely. There are lessons in this.
    Here at last is some good news about the Covid-19 pandemic and the wholesale disruption to our lives it has caused: In many places with strict lockdowns this spring, there were far fewer premature births than is considered normal.

    The trend doesn’t appear to be universal, but where it applies, the data are staggering. In Denmark, the number of babies born after less than 28 weeks of gestation — 40 weeks is the norm — dropped by 90% during the country’s month-long lockdown this spring. In one region of Ireland, the rate of preemies with very low birth weight was down by 73% between January and April compared with averages over the preceding two decades. Somewhat smaller decreases have been observed in parts of Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, clinics and doctors are now scurrying to examine their own data.https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-01/why-do-coronavirus-lockdowns-lead-to-fewer-premature-births?

  19. Colonel Bunty Golightly

    And while we are being told to self isolate and while pubs in NSW are being fined for breaches of social distancing the NSW government has sanctioned a piss up for 1000 Muslimes. What a f#[email protected] joke! Obviously, if you are seen to be a blowey uppy threat you get to do whatever you want?

  20. Lee

    I had to attend Emergency as an urgent patient last Thursday at a major Sydney hospital sent by my GP for a DVT that if not treated immediately by a specialist may have been life-threatening. Someone with this at home, presenting as a swollen leg, may have decided not to risk ‘Covid’ by attending a GP or Emergency; they could have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach which could kill them.

    I have an appointment to see a urologist at the hospital on Wednesday.
    As far as I know, it’s still going ahead at this stage, but I have no fears of catching the virus myself and I am not letting it stop me from going.
    My concern with my history of kidney/bladder-related problems (even though there is probably nothing wrong at the moment) outweighs the marginal risk of my catching the virus.

  21. Note also that yesterday I could go to an empty park without a face mask and not be infected or infect anyone else, but this morning I had to wear a mask or infect or be infected. Is Chairman Dan spreading the virus to prove a point?

  22. Megan

    That’s a really interesting finding, mem. There may well be a viral/bacterial component that triggers early labour which limited social contact and increased hygiene has removed from the equation.

    Old fashioned, I know, but maybe that whole ‘delicate condition malarkey has some truth to it. No gym workouts or sporting activity, not much driving or wandering the shops, no standing all the way to work on public transport, putting in a 60 hour week climbing the corporate ladder, and so on. Just lots of lovely quiet and calm time to incubate. Who knew?

  23. Tom Atkinson

    Adam Creighton’s article in today’s Australian (“Lockdown cost will be enormous”) contains a quote from Alberto Calderon, the CEO of Orica. This is the paragraph from Adam’s article:

    Mr Calderon said Victoria in April had 400 excess deaths — that is, 400 more deaths than the usual number for that month, and far more than the number of deaths ascribed to the coronavirus.

    If this claim is true, then far more people are dying from the lockdowns and restrictions than are being killed by the virus.

    What a scandal. The greatest stuff-up, surely, in Australian history. I wonder when the media are going to show some interest in the stuff-up – and maybe realise that all those other deaths are just as important.

  24. Dave of Reedy Creek, Qld. Aust

    Very sad article indeed and as usual we are basically kept in the dark here in Australia. My next door neighbour’s stepmother who lives in Scotland whom I know was being treated for cancer on a regular basis but then came the shutdown which was very severe. The lady had to wait over three months for her next treatment. Hoping she won’t be added to the long list of casualties.

  25. Louis

    I find it interesting that no one is studying proxies. Well I guess it’s not news if they are.

    A rise or fall in infections from COVID 19 are not the only useful measure to see if social distancing and lock downs work. Potentially all infectious diseases should be dropping like a stone, especially as they are supposedly not as easily transmitted as SAR-CoV-2.

    In Brisbane we have a number of viruses going around, including a rhinovirus. We know which viruses because they are testing for them if you get a COVID test. I recently had a virus which was not any of the ones tested for (confirmed in my COVID test).

    There will be some massive gas-lighting going on by government, public health experts and the media as more and more solid data comes out of the weeks, months and years as to excess deaths directly caused by the lock-downs. Particularly as that number dwarfs the virus deaths.

    I expect in the as more studies are done like this that the media and government and WHO will start categorizing COVID deaths as being deaths caused directly from COVID19 OR the measures taken to limit the spread of the virus.

    BTW Dan Andrews needed this outbreak to justify what he has already done. e.g. the harshest lock downs and suspending Parliament. It doesn’t matter how this new wave spread, it now approves and forgives all preceding action. i suspect a lot of the numbers in VIC are simply a new awareness of actual infections due to increased testing. How much testing was being done in VIC before compared to now? Because no where have I come across control/random testing. It has all been highly restrictive as to eligibility.

  26. Louis

    @Tom
    Yes but they claim to have an excuse if you compare death rates. That is that we only have this low death rate BECAUSE we took all the lock down measures, and if we didn’t we have lost magnitudes more from COVID. Then they get to go back to the modeled death rate.

    The QLD health Minister slipped from the script a few weeks back by saying the state had saved the lives of DOZENS of elderly Queenslanders.

  27. Pingback: "Experts" are slaughtering people to win a PR war against virus | Breaking News Online

  28. Dinky

    SA record 2 new case & BANG, the restrictions on social gatherings is cut from 50 to 10 people. I’m not sure how long these state governments can keep turning the tap off & on like that.

    If they’re gonna keep that up until a vaccine arrives, if it ever does, then Trump will be right, the cure will be far worse than the disease.

  29. Dirk:

    Can anybody see a path out of this without French Revolution style outcomes?

    No.
    Partial economic collapse, followed by “”Après moi, le déluge” .” and the Committee for Public Safety.

  30. Ozman

    From Tezza’s link to the https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3635548

    In UK.

    LOCKDOWN resulted in more deaths.

    For example,
    on average per week, our estimate of total COVID deaths over these periods was lower than the
    corresponding 5 year average excess deaths measure by 4670-4727 deaths (54%-63%).
    For the above five cases, and in line with our hypothesis, we posit that the 5 year average excess deaths
    contains a large number of non-COVID deaths.
    Third, and relatedly, our analysis suggests that the
    UK’s lockdown has had a net positive impact on mortalities.
    That is to say, it resulted in more, not less, deaths.
    Intuitively, this may be due to the unintended consequences of the lockdown (for example, a substantial reduction in the provision of, or access to, other forms of critical healthcare)
    dominating its intended consequences.

    Just add the deaths in Victoria, because of this lockdown, to the crimes against humanity committed by those advocating and insisting on this unnecessary, unscientific, draconian measure of implementing totalitarianism by stealth.

    Hydroxycloroquine has been administered for 65 years with a record of virtually unparalleled safety. Numerous doctors testify that hyrdroxycloroquine (Plaquenil) has cured patients on death row (when not used at toxic levels) in conjunction with zinc and, if necessary, azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-pac).

    Politicians testify to hydroxycloroquine’s benefits, when it has saved their lives. Frontline doctors and medical staff use hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis.

  31. Don’t worry about that.

    We have to make Trump out to be a homicidal maniac.

  32. Some History

    Summary of the Hunchback’s “directives” today.

    https://imgur.com/KacpyMI

  33. Tel

    Suicide is not normally mentioned in the press but common sense says it must be up. Common sense would also suggest the age of those dying of suicide would be significantly younger than Covid.

    Solid empirical evidence shows that suicide goes up every time there is widespread unemployment and you can perfectly understand that people who have worked their guts out to get somewhere in small business or some kind of career position will find it very unfair to one day have everything taken away from them. Doubly so to think that many of the “non-essential” small business really was extremely low risk but was closed down not because they actually spread any disease but only because some randomly chosen health official simply had no interest in whatever that particular business is doing.

    I know a guy who was involved in outdoor recreation … small groups of people far from anyone else … declared “non-essential” by the central planning health committee … no justifiable reason whatsoever. Totally sucks. Glad it didn’t happen to me, but this guy is someone I kind of like, and he has gone through a long list of shit-kicky jobs, not being well suited to intellectual-type activities, but he’s good with his hands and quite a practical guy. Finally landed something quite decent and that was just a couple of years ago and he was on the up and up with the recreation business. Didn’t deserve this one bit.

  34. Shorter CL: Trolley problem? Pfft. Run those grannies down like mangy dogs.

  35. Roger W

    And note the past tense – have already caused…
    The final total of deaths caused by the lock-down and associated measures will dwarf the covid deaths, however much they are exaggerated with car accidents and shootings.

  36. Eyrie

    Megan, maybe there was a reason it was called “confinement”?

  37. egg_

    Shorter CL: Trolley problem? Pfft. Run those grannies down like mangy dogs.

    Even the UK’s herd immunity policy was to “isolate > 70 y.o.”; what’s your problem dancing monkey?

  38. Mooka

    Monty, I’m sure that most grannies would rather take their risk with the virus then see their children and grandchildren’s future ruined. They come from a generation that was prepared to lay down their life for their country.
    How many youngsters suicides are acceptable to save your worthless fat arse?

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