Tag: UK Deaths Covid-19

City A.M: Coronavirus deaths in the UK rise by 286

The UK’s death toll from coronavirus has risen by 286, it was announced today.

Almost 130 of those deaths occurred in hospital after testing positive for the virus, NHS England said this afternoon. For overall deaths, data from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the toll rose by 286 as of 5pm yesterday.

The government’s total death toll from confirmed cases of coronavirus now stands at 40,883. However according to wider data which factors in deaths from suspected cases, the total toll is likely to be closer to 52,000.

New Scientist: Why have there been so many coronavirus deaths in the UK?

THE UK has been a leader in its coronavirus response, but not in a way any government would aspire to. The country now has the highest absolute excess deaths in Europe, 59,537 more than usual since the week ending 20 March, and the second highest per million people, behind only Spain for countries with comparable data, according to a Financial Times analysis. The total number of confirmed covid-19 deaths at the time of writing was second only to the US, and was still rising by more than 100 a day.

“Not knowing they were infected, many people were carrying on as normal and infecting others”

“I think it’s nothing short of a disgrace, and a dereliction of duty,” says former UK chief scientific adviser David King about the figures, which are coupled with more than a quarter of a million lab-confirmed cases.

The Spectator: It’s a mistake to compare our Covid death toll with Spain and France

Covid statistics are like complex machinery; if you don’t read the instructions you won’t operate them properly. Which is why the claim by some media outlets that the UK now has the second highest number of Covid deaths in Europe, should be handled with caution.

It is true that on Wednesday the official UK Covid-19 death toll increased by 4,419 to 26,097 after the government included deaths outside hospitals for the first time. The figures were revised respectively by Public Health England since the first UK death in March.

According to the Guardian, ‘The change comes after weeks of criticism of the way that the UK had been reporting its coronavirus death toll, which made effective comparisons with other European countries impossible.’ While the Mirror stated that the ‘UK now has second highest coronavirus death toll in Europe’.

Blog: Criticising the lockdown is NOT selfish, it is actually the more caring position

It was somewhere in the middle of March 2020 when management came into the office with a different kind of tone.  It was impossible to not overhear the talk of potentially getting everyone to work from home.  Calls to HR were being made, ordering more IT equipment to facilitate the whole company working from home, “just in case”.  This was the moment I knew something different was happening, something serious.

In recent memory, we’ve had the Ebola outbreak, which I remember learning about as one of (if not) the most terrifying virus known to man.  The virus causes a terminal haemorrhagic fever, breaking down cell membranes in the body, essentially liquifying the organs.  With a potential mortality rate of 90%, a reproductive rate from 1.7 to 1.9, and an average incubation period of 12.7 days. [1] I actually remember watching the news, looking around and thinking “why the hell is no one worried about this?”.

Yet, people dismiss the lack of preemptive action from the government on the Ebola outbreak, regarding the preparation of society for potential economic calamity.  No contingency work meetings, no panic buying of toilet rolls, no shaming of people getting a bit to close to one another, attending football matches, concerts or opening shops, no talks of mandatory vaccines.  The excuse?  “It didn’t spread very far” or “it stayed in West Africa”.

This is somewhat false, Ebola arrived briefly, here in the UK!  The advice at the time was “There is no need for people in the UK to act differently, either now or even if we discovered a case of Ebola here”.  Never was it suggested that the whole world’s economy could be shutting down as part of a contain or ‘slowing the spread’ strategy.  To protect the NHS. To save lives.  Nothing suggested the possibility that the economy itself could all but shut down for several months.  Nothing. [2]

Fast forward a few years and today and we have a new virus.  At it’s peak, a similar reproduction rate (as of 15 May 2020, the reproduction rate was between 0.7 and 1.0)  and a similar incubation period albeit a far lower mortality rate. [3] Yet, somehow causing total havoc across the globe, leaving world leaders, in all their insufferable ineptitude, to stretch the media’s legs and potentially risking further civil and/or global polarity and ultimately, conflict.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that when the threat to human life is genuinely severe for everyone, the government are in-and-out with remarkable efficiency.  They don’t invest in media to hypnotise us with noxious mantras, to alter our behaviour, appealing for people to snitch on their neighbours thus potentially damaging important personal relationships and trust within their local community.  It also tells us that a virus with a high reproductive cycle and incubation period can be beaten without going into lockdown.

In some ways, the lockdown can be compared to chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer.  The treatment kills all cells indiscriminately, we have to hope that it kills the cancer before it kills you.  Whilst it is argued correctly that chemo does destroy cancer cells, it also destroys everything else in your body.  Including your immune system and therefore, your ability to effectively defend yourself against many other threatening virus’ and bacterial infections.  Thus, requiring the patient to take more drugs to treat a whole daisy chain of side effects, which go on to create more side effects that then need more drugs, and so on.

“What are the alternatives?”  the best treatment for cancer is always a personal choice, and I would always support someone’s personal choice, it’s not my place to judge.  We can still discuss it though, can’t we?  Without someone coming along with a story about their relative who has died of cancer, only for the purpose of shutting you up because they don’t like people talking about it (like most of us haven’t lost someone to cancer at some point and aren’t allowed to speak about it).   There are many backed-up and supported alternative theories, aimed at preventing cancer, that draw many parallels to ‘alternatives to strict lockdown’ ideas.  Research that focuses immense value in the cultivating of healthier eating and lifestyle habits, to support a kind-of ‘immune system-driven herd immunity’ against cancer.

Granted, the lockdown seems to have indeed saved lives, although the exact figure of that success may be impossible to truly visualise, I believe the number of lives it will cost in the long term will completely overshadow it.  Already, only a few months in and we are already seeing a huge rise in suicides, domestic violence cases, cancer screenings and other diseases experiencing costly delays, new prescriptions for anti-depressants come flooding in and waiting lists for mental health services are growing. [3]

The lockdown will end, and once the government’s support diminishes and ultimately ends with it, tens of thousands of people will find their businesses (which are often an accumulation of their life’s work and personal sacrifices) will not be waiting for them when they return.  It’s clear to me and many others that the number of stories relating to a rise in lockdown-related suicide and personal crisis, is not going any where but up.  People will be haunted by the negative effects of the lockdown for a generation to come.  This is the true avalanche we should all be worried about.

By speaking out about the lockdown, you are appealing for balance in the ongoing public discussion, you are recognising that saving a few thousand people today, at the cost of potentially hundreds of thousands in the years to come, is not a success but rather a false victory and a bastardisation of good scientific reasoning.  You recognise that worse viruses have been beaten, without the need to cause widespread panic and mass social engineering.  You can see that it could be possible to have a lockdown that’s more bespoke to the small group of people most vulnerable.

An economy is supposed to be like a moving river, if the river stops, it goes stagnant and life becomes much more difficult.   Right now, most of people’s income being supplemented by the governments support packages, is being syphoned off into the pockets of tax avoiding corporations as the world’s richest have already gained $255 billion in just two months of the pandemic. [4] The money that is being spent isn’t returning much back to the state in the way of tax.  The economy is literally haemorrhaging.

You are not being money obsessed for understanding that the strength in the economy isn’t in it’s total monetary value but rather it is the combination of it’s total worth and being in a state of constant back-and-forth exchange.   The notion that it’s the billionaires who are only want us going back to work because they need us to make money, is complete gibberish.  The billionaires are already profiting nicely from the lockdown.  By opening the economy up, we are keeping that opportunity away from the billionaires and opening those opportunities back up to smaller, independent businesses who desperately need it.  All the modern healthcare services that we have taken for granted to date, are only made possible by a large, working economy holding it up.

It’s unfathomable that so many people would rather believe that people don’t care about human life, than accept that thinking about the long-term survival of our economic infrastructure, which includes the healthcare sector, is probably the more caring position to take.  With talk of a second and maybe even a third wave that are alleged to have a higher cost to life, how long do people think it can last without the economy?

 

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258044972_Incubation_Period_of_Ebola_Hemorrhagic_Virus_Subtype_Zaire

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ebola/frequently-asked-questions

2. https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/15/expert-interview-is-ebola-a-risk-to-the-uk/

3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/25/attempted-suicides-elderly-may-increasing-six-fold-says-royal/

https://fee.org/articles/a-years-worth-of-suicide-attempts-in-four-weeks-the-unintended-consequences-of-covid-19-lockdowns/

https://eu.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/2020/05/10/domestic-violence-attempted-suicides-felonious-assaults-call-up/3085942001/

https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/18423572.cornwall-suicide-rates-rise-since-coronavirus-outbreak/

https://inews.co.uk/news/health/mental-health-coronavirus-antidepressants-medication-supplies-uk-lockdown-rise-demand-2842273

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/well/live/coronavirus-cancer-diagnosis-treatment-cure.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52531613

4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2020/05/22/billionaires-zuckerberg-bezos/#596fda357ed6

 

 

If you have any links that would support this article or even a counter argument, please share them with your response in the comments

Evening Standard: UK coronavirus death toll passes 47,000 amid mounting criticism of move to hold sports events at start of epidemic

The number of coronavirus deaths passed 47,000 in the UK as ministers faced growing accusations today that people may have died because of the decision to hold this year’s Cheltenham Festival and a Liverpool Champions League game.

As the epidemic took off in the UK in March, major sporting events were still being allowed by the Government despite being cancelled in other countries.

 

Channel 4 News: Does the UK have the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe?

The UK passed another grim milestone yesterday: the official death toll exceeded Italy’s, making ours the highest in Europe.

But experts warn we should be extremely careful about assuming that these figures are directly comparable between countries – and it could be some time before we know whether the UK really has suffered more fatalities than other nations.

Here’s why.