Dan O'Heirity

Why the Big Difference Between the Early Covid-19 Death Rate and the Current Death Rate?

In the early days of the pandemic we were seeing really high death rates. According to my preferred data source there have 432,236 Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and 41,936 deaths giving a death rate of around 10%. Again, using my preferred data source, the UK has reported around 6,000 new cases a day over the last two days with around 40 fatalities per day for the same two days. Notice here that the fatality rate is now 0.66% against new daily confirmed cases. So, whereas the first wave of the virus in the UK saw a fatality rate of around 10%, this “second wave” has a much lower fatality rate that is really not much more serious than seasonal influenza. This phenomenon is not restricted to the UK. Again using my preferred data source, the Covid-19 death rate has been consistently falling over the last 4 months to the point where the fatality rate is now 4%.

Take a look at this video in which Andrew Bolt highlights the fact that the “second wave” of Covid-19 in Europe has not been accompanied by the same death rate that we saw with the first wave in Europe.

He then goes on to interview an an infectious diseases expert from Sweden on the question of why this second wave of the virus is not so deadly. Granted that Bolt is trying to direct the expert to the conclusions that he would like to draw, but the interview does highlight the fact that there are significant unanswered questions about Covid-19. For example, the infectious diseases expert suggest that some people may have had a natural pre-existing immunity against the Covid-19. That’s news to me. She also makes the point that whilst the death rate is less severe in the second wave of the virus, we do not actually know why this is the case.

Perhaps the virus has mutated so that it less deadly or perhaps the new cases are accounted for by younger people who are better able to fight off the virus than older people. Or perhaps, as I have thought for a while, the number of Covid-19 deaths has actually been greatly exaggerated and what we are seeing now is something much closer to the actual death rate. Whatever the case in Europe, it is a fact that deaths in Australia are predominantly amongst the elderly and this begs the question whether we should just meekly accept the governments draconian lockdown measures. My answer to that question for Australia would be a resounding “No”. Covid-19 in Australia is killing elderly people in aged care services and this is a fundamental government failing to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

The State Government is Also Trying to Deflect Attention From the Fact That It Caused This Second Covid-19 Wave of Infections

It seems to be a fundamental and incontrovertible fact that Victoria’s second wave of Covid-19 can be traced back to the Andrew’s government mismanagement of hotel quarantine. However, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has blamed the Health Minister Jenny Mikakos for the hotel quarantine debacle and Mikakos has now resigned from her post. At the same time it is still unclear who was responsible for appointing a private security firm to manage the hotel quarantines. What we do know is that Daniel Andrews is not taking responsibility even though he is the premier. Sorry, but if you are the Premier of a State then you have to accept responsibility for what happens when mistakes are made with Covid-19 quarantining measures. It’s management 101. Blaming staff is just bad form and yet that is exactly what Andrew’s has done with Mikakos falling on the proverbial sword.

The second wave in Victoria has resulted in the vast majority of deaths occurring in aged care facilities. Another government failing. And what happens? Our state and federal governments keep throwing out scare tactic figures to distract the public from the fact that our governments in Australia are absolutely responsible for the so called “second wave” of Covid-19 and for the deaths of residents in aged care facilities. I was tempted to say that I am baffled by the public’s stupidity in believing the headline lies of Australia’s news reporting but actually I am not baffled. The general public has no capacity or inclination to think beyond what is presented to them in the media. The herd are conforming in the very way that the government wants them to conform. Daniel Andrews approval ratings remain high in the midst of his complete mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation in Victoria.

New Police Powers Are Completely Unjustified and Will Lead to More Cases of Excessive Police Force

This week a Bill is due to pass before Parliament that, as reported by “The Conversation” “would provide police and other “authorised officers” with unprecedented, extraordinary powers and rely too heavily on a punitive approach to controlling the coronavirus, with too few checks and balances“. I would encourage you to read “The Conversation” article but my reading is that the Bill is a sleight of hand to significantly extend police powers on the grounds that the police will behave “reasonably”. The videos in “The Conversation” article would suggest that this will not be the truth of the matter. The police will be able to arrest a person on the grounds that they have a “reasonable belief” that the person will fail to comply with a self-isolation order. Even more worrying is that a person can be detained for a “time period reasonably necessary to eliminate a serious risk to public health”. In other words, the timeframe for detention is not specified.

First Published September 25th, 2020

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