The World Countries throughout the world continue to bumble along in pretty hopeless ignorance about what's really going on with the Corona virus. We don't know how many people have had it, we certainly don't know how many people have really been killed by it (rather than old age and other pre-existing conditions) , we don't know when or whether we will ever have a vaccine and we absolutely don't know what the long-term political, social and economic consequences might be. What we do know is that things will never be the same again – people will travel much less, commute much less, use bikes much more and work and socialise much more using the internet. Globalisation no longer has the attraction it once did!
Corona statistics It's interesting to look at the official weekly death figures – just the plain numbers. The government efforts to collect statistics of “corona” deaths have been HOPELESS. First, they were muddled about whether or not to include Care Homes; second, they could not easily count deaths which occurred at home and third, they could not rely on doctors to put correct information on death certificates. There were 8 weeks before mid-May in which the number of weekly deaths significantly exceeded the 5 year average. Deaths in the earlier weeks had in fact been significantly less than average. So comparing the total deaths (up to week 20) with the expected 5 year average we find there were 48,000 extra deaths – almost certainly caused by corona. This is quite a lot more than the government will admit to BUT (and it is a big BUT) these deaths were almost entirely in the over 70s age groups. Again you can compare the total over 70s weekly deaths over the 20 weeks with the expected average. You will find that there are 47,100 extra deaths in this age group.
So if we simply disregard the government's feeble efforts at collecting accurate corona figures we can see that just over 98 percent of corona deaths were in the over 70s age group. For the rest of the population the death rate was just 900 – representing a chance of 1 in 67,000 for anyone under 70 to die of corona. The interesting question now is whether the annual number of deaths in the entire year of 2020 will really be significantly higher than average. We might expect to find weekly death rates falling sharply as the summer progresses – simply because corona has “weeded” out those who were near death anyway! We shall see!
What these statistics show is that the corona “problem” is almost entirely one for the over 70s, having very little impact on the majority of the working population. Our politicians, with their giant egos, could not resist the chance to take draconian actions, flexing the muscles of the all-powerful state. They have done us all a favour by debunking economic growth and globalisation despite all the personal re-adjustments and hardship this has caused. Patterns of working (especially travel and commuting) have been changed for ever – three cheers for that. The big question now is whether state controls will ever be relaxed – with particular concerns about the possible disappearance of “cash”.