Is there nothing the fucktit soapwank can’t misunderstand?

The Man decides to tell us all that covid is very much worse than ‘flu. In which he might even be right. But then:

So, maybe 600 ‘flu deaths a year. Right now we have seen more than 150,000 Covid 19 deaths. Let’s not pretend that there is any comparison or that because we can live with ‘flu deaths we can live with Covid deaths.

He uses as his data course this report. No, really, this is his source:

We often count “influenza and pneumonia” together because many cases of pneumonia are in fact caused by influenza.

So, looking at influenza only is not correct. We must look at both pne and ‘flu. It’s right there in the source.

Just for the avoidance of doubt yes, these numbers are “of” not “with”.

OK, yes, covid deaths are higher. Not exactly an exceptional finding in the middle of a pandemic:

Between 1 January and 31 August 2020, 52,327 deaths in England and Wales involved COVID-19. Out of these, 48,168 deaths were due to COVID-19: that is, COVID-19 was the underlying cause. This was 12.4% of all deaths for the period (389,835 deaths). In the same period 69,781 deaths involved pneumonia and 506 deaths involved influenza: out of these, 13,619 and 394 deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza respectively (3.5% and 0.1% of all deaths).

But note one more thing. He’s using the figures only from that middle of the pandemic. And – in what should not be a surprise to an economist – there’s substitution going on. Covid and pneumonia/influenza kill largely the same group of people. Those with comorbities and those with that comorbidity called age. Not exclusively, of course not, but the overlap is considerable.

As ONS, in the same report, points out:

It’s not entirely true that covid only kills those diabetic, fat, smokers over 80 waiting around for whichever ‘flu season will take them off but it is at least in part true.

The actual effect of covid is therefore, at the population level, the number killed by covid minus those not killed by pneumonia and influenza in the same time period. Or at least that’s a far better estimate than the absence of influenza deaths in the middle of this pandemic.

And, note, all of this is for the period when there were no vaccines. So, once we vaccinate, as we largely have, then the numbers are going to be…….

11 thoughts on “Is there nothing the fucktit soapwank can’t misunderstand?”

  1. Didn’t I read somewhere that RIGHT NOW, flu and pneumonia deaths are way higher than covid deaths according to ONS figures?

    (And wouldn’t there be a good chance that the various treatment protocols for covid might well work for flu? Anti-viral is anti-viral.)

  2. “Kary Mullis stated categorically that PCR was never to be a diagnostic tool, and that it could not replace the observations made by a physician”. Unless there is a serological test to absolutely identify covid, any numbers they come up with are bollocks.

    A recent FOI request shows from Jan 2020 to April 2021, 18 – yes eighteen, people died in the county of Kent FROM covid. These people are insane.

  3. Even when it is stated clearly, Spud is incapable of understanding it. Did he really pass A-levels? Did he really attend a university? In fact, I am wondering if he even passed O-levels. Has he faked his qualifications? I cannot see how he could possibly have passed accountancy exams

  4. It’s the tragedy of Spud: some good ideas here or there, but most of the time he’s totally bereft of any critical thinking at all once he thinks he has a bit of data that supports his priors.

  5. Seeing as the precautions against transmission of the flu virus are exactly the same as against the transmission of the coronavirus. But in other years we haven’t taken those precautions. Wouldn’t you expect a drop in flu/pneumonia fatalities?
    There’s another aspect. Call it quality of life or economic. They amount to the same thing. A flu epidemic usually effects all ages. Discounting the drama queens to whom a slight cold is always the flu, you’d normally know a considerable number of people laid low by it, if you’d escaped yourself. Can’t think of anyone I know who’s said they’ve had covid symptoms. I’m pretty sure I must have had it, bearing in mind I’ve been contravening enthusiastically every recommended precaution right the way through. And so have most of the people I’ve been in contact with. Nada.

  6. Back in January Covid was indeed killing more people that flu/pnu, but from March flu/pnu has been regularly killing more people than Covid. As shown in the above link, Covid is now ten times less than flu/pnu – though reported as flu/pnu is ten times more than Covid, but it’s Covid that has changed not flu/pnu, which is at its base floor always-there level.

  7. “Fucktit soapwank” … I think I’m going to include that one in my arsenal as brilliantly impolite english… 🙂

  8. Surely anyone of his age would be well aware that flu used to be well over 50,000 deaths a year and with vaccination has only dropped down to 20,000 a year over the last decade or so. I grew up with winter being referred to as gods waiting room.

  9. @BniC

    Yes, the ‘Hong Kong’ flu caused (OK, ‘was associated with’) ~80,000 excess deaths in 1968. Scaling up for population growth in the last 50 years takes that well into 6-figures.

  10. Having had the misfortune to end up in hospital with Covid I can say yes it is nasty, but still largely non-fatal. I still say the mental impact of isolation routines, some of the staffs pessimism (generally though most of the staff were excellent) and sense of being alone was more frightening and worse than the Covid itself.
    I had a very bad case of flu over 30 years ago that put me in bed for most of a week so have to say flu is no joke either.

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