Monthly Archives: October 2020

Covid Second Wave – this time is different…mostly

So below we see the 7 day moving averages of daily new cases, deaths, hospitalisations and admissions to ICU. These are expressed as a % of the first wave peak.

Clearly this time is very differnet, thankfully. But, at a national level the response to a clearly very different situation is exactly the same.

Why is this time different, so far? A younger population is getting the disease, we are catching much more of it than in Spring so the case level is closer to true incidence, we have a culture of hand and respitatory hygine, travel in and around the county even absent lockdowns and so on is reduced, we know better how to treat the sick etc etc.

But the national policy response is the same – lock down, blame and scold the population, use the police as a threat; we dont have nuance we have a policy of …well I dont know what the policy is to be honest. Do you?

Where are the excess deaths from COVID-19?

So…. where is it happening in Ireland? Europewide excess deaths are monitored and collated by the European Mortality Monitor . They provide z-scores – measures of excess deaths that are standardized to take account of the fact that baseline deaths vary across months and across age groups. See https://www.euromomo.eu/how-it-works/what-is-a-z-score/ for more detail.

So, where are we? The answer is that we are and have been for some considerable time BELOW expected deaths.

Here is the excess death graph for Ireland. The dashed line is the baseline – what we would expect to see over the time period. The red line is the european definition of a substantial increase. The horizontal axis is week. We are, and have been since end of may, BELOW expected deaths. Thats deaths from all causes, not just Covid.

Here is the same graph for those aged 85+ and for those aged 65+

Same story. A massive spike in March-April, tapering off towards the end of May, remaining, even in the most vulnerable, below baseline since. Remember- this means LESS people than would have been expected are dying.