In the last months of the Year of Covid-19, the world experienced a massive resurgent wave. It wasn’t a wave of deaths by coronavirus, but a lockdown tsunami engulfing individual and civil liberties. The excess deaths caused by governments’ decisions to relegate non-Covid health issues to the realm of non-essential treatments, also became more visible for those who had eyes to see…
Another heaving wave – poverty due to the swelling unemployment and enterprise demise that the lockdown measures and the autocratic disruption of economic life brought about – also gained momentum. The impact thereof is certain to dwarf that of the virus itself.
If the worldwide death toll of 1.359 million attributed to Covid-19 is divided by the daily average global death toll of 158 085 (for 2019) and one fills the annual calendar according to deaths by cause, the feared pandemic with its vicious waves is closer to a ripple than a tsunami. EOSA developed a Cause of Death Calendar that shows:
- Covid-19 related deaths scarcely exceed a week on the annual calendar, filling a mere 8 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes. (This includes all Covid-related deaths whilst several studies already found that pre-existing co-morbidities, and not Covid-19, accounted for the majority of these deaths. In fact, a UK study of 20 133 inpatients found that Covid-19 was the sole cause of death in less than 1 in 4 deaths Covid-related deaths).
- Covid-19 deaths only appear in the 9th position on the causes of death list. The first place is still filled by a disease that not a single government had ever considered so dangerous that it would shut the economy down for it. That dreaded disease fills 112 days 12 hours 43 minutes and 20 seconds and are cardiac related deaths (based on 2019 data).
- In a secure second position “Deaths from Cancer” fill 60 days, 11 hours and 17 seconds.
Figure 1 indicates that Covid-19 related deaths in 2020 (as on November 19) amount to 2.4% of worldwide deaths (the other deaths are based on 2019 data).
However, the situation will look even worse when proper 2020 figures on death are verified. There are two reasons why the Covid component may be even more negligible:
- An enormously larger percentage of death certificates that record Covid-19 as the cause of death are not recording the real cause of death. The real Covid figure is likely to be substantially smaller and the lack of autopsies to assess real cause of death is creating circumstances where solutions are now sought in the wrong places.
(Wait: ‘What about excess deaths’)
- Lockdown measures that relegate other ailments and diseases to the level of non-essential conditions, resulted and is resulting in more deaths than usual from other diseases.
The proof of the latter is inter alia:
- For a period of three months in the five states of New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan an extra 8 300 deaths from heart diseases occurred. These were caused in the main by hospitals and medical services being dedicated to “handle the spike of Covid infections” together with the fear of god instilled in people who then avoided hospitals where the voracious virus was in full swing. That amounted to a 27% higher incidence of deaths by cardiac failure.
- A study in England and Wales revealed excess deaths by heart disease and stroke in the four months of March to June when England was in lockdown. These 2 085 deaths translate for that period into 17 more deaths daily due to heart disease: implying that most of these could have been prevented if normal medical procedures were in place.
- The Lancet carried an article by Camille Maringe and others on the impact on cancer patients that delays in diagnostics and treatment due to lockdown might have had. They reckon that over 5 years between 7.9 – 9.6% more deaths will occur amongst breast cancer patients, between 15.3 – 16.6% more deaths amongst colorectal patients, 4.8 – 5.3% more deaths amongst lung cancer patients and 5.8 – 6% more deaths for oesophageal cancer.
- In the US, screenings for breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer had dropped dramatically by 85%, 75%, 74% and 56% respectively in April 2020 compared to April 2019 due to one the one hand lockdown strategies, and on the other hand because people were too scared about Covid-19 to visit doctors and hospitals. Such delays in screening can have very fatal consequences for people with cancer.
- In the US, the isolation brought about by lockdown had resulted in an extra 13 200 people have died of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia from April to end August.
The wave of hunger…
The poverty wave triggered by the lockdowns will also bring higher tolls, also in deaths. Unemployment and business closures trigger not only loss of income, but also loss of hope. The SA government’s TERS pay-outs reach only a percentage of the more than a million extra unemployed and even those with TERS payments, face financial ruin.
Household food security is threatened. Bonile Bam recently reported of the growing queues of jobless in the Eastern Cape lining up to receive their emergency social grants. He describes the province as the “land of hunger” reporting households skipping meals and people dying since they cannot take their chronic medication without food.
This is happening in the land of the Cattle Killing where Nongquase promised protection provided that people adhere to a lockdown by staying in their huts, slaughter their livestock and refrain from cultivating their lands. Those that disobeyed were ostracised. The lockdown measures under a continuing state of disaster amounted to a second killing of the cattle (livelihoods) with the government acting like Nongquase.
However, the figures on jobs lost, businesses closed, deaths by hunger or lack of normal medical treatment will not be paraded regularly by a “Central Command” figure that reports religiously about people testing positive for Covid-19 (a large percentage of these not even sick). That is because the first is ignored as ‘non-essential’, whilst the latter is essential to further the continuation of the state of disaster and instilling fear in the population to ensure they obey the government.
Thereby, without noticing it, the biggest wave is mostly ignored. The governments have devoured enormous aspects of individual and societal liberties by decreeing curfews, effectively introducing a form of house arrest for long periods, stifling freedom of speech, deciding which businesses are essential and which not, which medical procedures are important and which not, which T-shirts may be sold, what may be sold through e-commerce and whether restaurants may serve wine with meals.
It is a tsunami that obliterates liberties that the world populations have struggled for centuries to achieve.
Businesses are easily co-opted as accessories for the state: now the entrance fee is a face mask. In future, a certificate that you have taken an anti-Covid vaccine, will be the entry ticket.
Qantas just became the first airline to announce that once a vaccine has been certified by health authorities.
Corporate SA remains to this date fully supportive of all measures the government is taking to fight the “pandemic”, including the lengthy and severe lockdown, the irrational diktats on what may be sold and what not, and the efforts to fight a virus by banning alcohol sales.
The inside of your car is a public space!
At individual level, space where one can operate without a face mask is becoming more and more limited. On November 18, the Delhi government defended its decision of making it compulsory for people to wear masks when they travel in their own vehicles. It argued that ‘a personal vehicle on a public road cannot be considered to be a private zone and that it constitutes a public space‘.
Donning face masks is the new ‘Heil Hitler!’
Hitler would have loved the snitchers in our suburbs and retirement villages: there were informers who called the police when someone went for a solitary walk on the beach and complaints on social media when a jogger or cyclist passed without wearing a face mask.
Donning face masks is the contemporary equivalent of the obligatory “Heil Hitler”: it serves to cultivate subservience by the population.