When the eminent epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London first testified before the British parliament on how many people he thought would ultimately fall prey to Covid-19, his initial projection was that the virus could claim the lives of 500,000 people in the UK.
But he has revised that projection. Professor Ferguson now believes that at most 20,000 people will die – ”and it could be much lower.”
(For comparison, Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people died from influenza in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19).
Professor Ferguson’s U-turn has not been widely reported to the public, but he is now calling a figure 25 times smaller than his original prediction the absolute maximum.
So, while of course there is no cause for complacency, there is surely no reason either for panic and over-reaction, which themselves have extremely harmful, even fatal, consequences.
In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu — is history repeating with Covid-19 ?
Even If the eventual total number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK is in line with current ‘worst-case scenario’ estimates, at around 20,000 maximum, the virus will end up having a minimal impact on overall mortality for the year.
Covid-19 is meant to be a new Black Death, but in Britain no more people are dying than NORMAL. What does this say about the virus?
Here’s a realistic and balanced perspective of the threat – or lack thereof – based on analysis of available data.
~ from Peerless Reads
~ update : April 2, 2020
There are good reasons to doubt the officially reported UK fatality rate for Covid-19.
As things stand this Covid-19 mortality rate – 2,921 as of today, from 33,718 reported cases – is added to whenever a person authorised to do so signs a death certificate giving Covid-19 as the cause of death. What we do not know is how many of those deaths were actually caused by Covid-19, or were merely of persons in whose bodies the virus could be detected, – or worse still, of persons who died in institutions where the virus had been detected (or suspected).
Without testing, it is impossible to know how many people are carrying the virus, how many have mild (or no) symptoms, or how many have recovered.
The key information, which I urge everyone to follow closely, is the background death rate. That is, the rate at which people are dying of ALL causes.
The background rate for March 2020 does not differ markedly from that for March 2019 or March 2018. In fact the figure for March 2020 is below the average for the last five years, This means that few (if any) more people are dying than usual, despite Covid-19.
The average age of those reported to have died from Covid-19 in Italy is 80, and 80 is also the average age at which Italians die of all causes.
If we want to deconstruct or reconstruct society from free will, informed choice, and a desire for change for the better, that is all to the good – in fact it is our democratic duty. But it is something else entirely to deconstruct society from misplaced fear, causing immeasurable collateral damage out of all proportion to the actual threat.
Ironically, and tragically, this damage will be felt disproportionately by those already perceived as ‘at risk’.