Coronavirus Open Thread 2021

My interpretation of what? The graph you posted means nothing. It contains no information about COVID or anything else. As I said, it’s noise (in the technical sense).

I’m not arguing COVID is fake, and I never have. My position is that it’s a relatively minor tragedy which has been magnified by government actions into a major tragedy (deliberately so, IMO).

Life expectancy decrease means nothing? In this day and age no country has decreasing life expectancy except during war. If it weren’t for covid how is it possible that life expectancy would decrease in these peaceful, wealthy countries?

Fine. You did not argue that covid was fake. You argued that old people dying is fine as if we lived in 19th century Japan.

Look, this is why governments can so easily whip people into a frenzy. You don’t have to fake any numbers. All you have to do is show them a little sparkline (showing real numbers) and put a fake title on the top.

I didn’t say a “life expectancy decrease” means nothing. I’m saying that that graph doesn’t show what you believe it shows. The concept of “life expectancy” is a predictor of the future, and it is therefore inherently ‘noisy’: it doesn’t have a single value, but a range of possible values. In other words, you can only describe ‘life expectancy’ in the language of probability, and a very small upward (or downward) trend across two values is not statistically meaningful.

Your own life expectancy hasn’t been altered by the fact of more old people than usual dying in 2020. The article explains this:

" This means that the values estimated above for the life expectancies in the year 2020 would apply if the mortality conditions observed in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic, will last for all the following years until the extinction of the cohort born in 2020."

It’s hard to tell exactly how those sparklines were computed, but I’m guessing the correct title for that chart would be something like “average age at death in 2020”.

As I pointed out earlier, you only have to go back to 2010 to find the same death rate as 2020. Accusing other people of lying, and then following that up with an hyperbolically false comparison, doesn’t help your case.

And yes, old people dying is fine. It’s what old people do. It’ll happen to me and it’ll happen to you. Getting all bent out of shape about it distracts people from the important business of living.

The one notable counter-example has been US white males, presumably affected by the opioid crisis and other economic troubles.

But that is not relevant to, and does not help to explain, the declining life expectancy in the EU. Presumably that too is a state-led conspiracy.

/sarcasm off


Well War on drugs is technically a war as well.


There is no “decline in life expectancy” in the EU. It’s not possible to say definitively whether there is or is not, at least not just by fiddling with some numbers. Looking at the fundamentals - eg., a massive increase in stress, a general reduction in exercise, and the dismantling of mainstream healthcare - one would expect that it might decrease. But it’s not possible to say that based on how many people died in 2020.

The whole bleedin lot of you ought to be forced to attend remedial maths classes.

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Yeah I remember. Could have been pics of anything.

I think what was happening was that hospitals weren’t letting people in. So a lot of people died at home and in hotels (I’ve read interviews with relatives if the deceased, you don’t see them being allowed to speak freely now either). Whether they died on the street who knows. The prevelance was high or at least is was spreading very rapidly .

Covid is not dangerous to under 50s but if you are elderly and have chronic diseases it’s a real killer.

You’ve made some serious errors in your estimates here too over the last year. I remember a few howlers.

Also you’ve cherry picked data with the best of them.

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Are you debating my interpretation of those charts, or accusing me of not having the foresight of Nostradamus? To the extent that anybody can predict the future, I’ve been pretty close in most of my guesses.

Give me an example of my “cherry picking”.

You choosing CVD data to match the death rate…Anybody can choose data to arbitrarily match something .

Also which data to choose for looking at excess deaths or not. Went on and on about how there wouldn’t be excess deaths but there were.

Also your estimate of NHS beds was off by a factor of ten or so.

Some other errors sprinkled in here and there…Just be careful pot kettle black and all that.

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Um… that’s not cherry picking. Cherry picking means pulling out some data to support your hypothesis while ignoring data that demolishes it. If you want to accuse me of cherry-picking, then show me the evidence (that I’ve ignored) that suggests CVD has nothing to do with COVID deaths.

In that post, I was merely pointing out an interesting correlation (in view of the fact that underlying cardiovascular disease is a massive risk for COVID-19 death).

If you find a correlation of 0.3 or 0.4 it’s reasonable to accuse someone of trawling around until they find something where X tracks Y. However when you’re correlating something that’s a known risk factor with a hard endpoint, and seeing 0.99, there’s something important to explain. Or does 0.99 mean “nothing to see here, move along” if we’re discussing COVID-19?

The difference for 2020 was so small that it’s hard to tell whether there is any “excess” or not, and if there is, what it actually means in terms of life-years lost, and why those lives were lost.

The term “excess” is itself highly subjective. Where’s the threshold for a meaningful excess? 1%? 5%? How far back in history is it valid to make comparisons? What (future) time period do you take into account? Of what significance is the length of a calendar year?

Here’s the PHE analysis, which is predicated on a 5-year history. Is that valid? The last 10 years represent a period of unusually low death rates for the UK; my argument is (and has been) that the death rate for 2020 is not remarkably different to previous years, and it’s actually better than pre-2000 death rates.

This is an excellent interactive presentation, btw. Hats off the PHE for a superb effort. 8/10. I suggest everyone should have a look at this, particularly the ‘cause of death’ page, which clearly shows that a large fraction of the people who died “with COVID-19” were terminally ill, or approaching that state.

I never made any such estimate. IIRC, I was doing a napkin model of the absolute-worst-case scenario that the NHS might, hypothetically, have had to cope with if they’d just let the disease run its course without any intervention.

So am I wrong or right about the meaning of those “life expectancy” charts? Bear in mind that if I’m wrong, then the explanation at the bottom of the article is also wrong.

Covid deaths data skewed by other illnesses, says Mayo coroner

Death figures reported by Nphet “do not have a scientific basis”, according to the Mayo coroner Patrick O’Connor.

He claims that many of those recorded as having died from Covid-19 were already suffering with other underlying illnesses that may have caused their deaths.

O’Connor, who acts as a public information officer for the Coroners Society of Ireland, said that recording Covid-19 as the principal cause of death when a person was already terminally ill raised questions about the accuracy of the figures. Since the start of the pandemic 4,831 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Ireland.

“In reality, a lot of people have terminal cancer or multiple serious co-morbidities. People can die from Covid or with Covid. I think numbers that are recorded as Covid deaths may be inaccurate and do not have a scientific basis,” O’Connor said. “When a person is suffering from a number of medical conditions which will or may lead to their death at some short time in the future, if they are unlucky enough to be infected by the Covid virus, that is recorded as the principal cause of death.”

Denis Cusack, the Kildare coroner, presented evidence in a report published last week that 99 per cent of the 230 Covid-related deaths in the county were of people with underlying conditions. “The associated or underlying medical conditions reported in the 230 persons who died directly from Covid-19, or whose death had Covid-19 as a contributory cause, were taken from the original reports to the coroner,” Cusack’s report states.

This isn’t being hidden - it’s all out in the open. It’s just that most people would prefer to believe the media BS rather than look at the data, cos it’s more exciting and consumes less brainpower. Have a look at the PHE visualisations in my post above. They clearly show that, even where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the proximate cause of death was not declared to be COVID-19 in the majority of cases.

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Thanks for posting that. I’ve been waiting for the last 12 months to hear something from the Mayo coroner, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

And cake’s quest to cherry pick data from around the world that supports what he already thought continues.

if you think cake is cherry picking, go and look at the data.

If you don’t think cake is cherry picking, you seriously need to reevaluate your logic (which often seems pretty solid to me, but not on this point).

What he does is the literal definition of cherry picking.

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In what sense is he cherry picking? Do you even understand what that phrase means? Quoting someone who suggests that the data doesn’t mean what everyone thinks it means is not “cherry picking”.

All the data is published for public view. Public Health England have even gone to all the trouble of creating some excellent visualisation dashboards to help people without any statistics knowledge (ie., 99% of the UK population) to grasp what the raw data means. And here you are arguing - apparently - that the best way to understand what’s going on is to not look at that data.

If I didn’t have a good technical understanding of how brainwashing works, I’d be bemused. As it is, I’m merely appalled.

Yes, I do. And I thought you did too - was I wrong about that?

Cherry picking is choosing the studies/data points that support your position and ignoring everything else that doesn’t. And that’s 100% what he’s been doing since the start of this thing - with masks, with vaccines, with the virus in general.

You’ve surely noticed that, right? You’d have to be blind or, well, cake, not to have noticed it, and I don’t think you’re either?

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PowerBI is a useful software for sure, we use it at work too.

Can you explain what is your point about the PHE stats a bit more ?

It seems to show that covid is causing the excess deaths to me !

It shows deaths expected with no pandemic as a dotted line and then shows the excess deaths from covid induced death correlated with the existing chronic disease. Most striking are the ischaemic heart disease and diabetes sufferers.

Indeed. So all you have to do to refute his point is pull up the PHE data and show that he (or Patrick O’Connor) is wrong. It’s not unknown for officials to be wrong. But it’s very easy to demonstrate that they are. If they are.

Yeah, drill down a bit. And look at the X-axis (which auto scales). It’s complicated, and it would take me a lot of words to explain the big picture. Better that you look for yourself. The “cause of death” panel is instructive.