The Data is Clear, Lockdowns and the Politicians Who use Them, Kill

I found a very interesting article a couple of days ago.  They looked at excess mortality for several countries.

Before I present their data I need to explain excess mortality.  Regular readers of this blog have seen this plot before.

In the 2019/20 winter Canada had about 2% more deaths than the average of the previous 10 winters.  This 2% is not excess deaths.  Excess deaths are deaths over “expected deaths”.  Researchers studying mortalities in large populations do not use yearly average to define “expected deaths”.  They build a composite model that smooths out each cold and flu season.  This gives a number for expected deaths that is much lower than the average actual deaths.

As an Engineer it makes no sense to me why you would expect less than actual average deaths.  When you define average as normal then about half of the years have excess deaths.  When you define normal as expected deaths then almost every year has excess deaths.  It is probably advantageous to show large excess deaths each year if you want to scare research grants out of politicians.

Sorry for the long explanation but I wanted to explain why I show 2% deaths higher than average while the chart below shows 6% excess deaths for Canada.  In the end it does not matter how you define normal as long as you use the same methodology for each country.  The study data is below.

I found it very interesting that several countries had negative excess deaths.  Remember expected deaths are lower than the average so very few years have negative excess deaths.  How is it possible that during the great plague of the 21st century so many countries had unusually low years?  It is almost as if the media was exaggerating the risk.

Another thing that caught my eye was many of the countries with negative excess deaths were countries with very light restrictions.  Every country did different things at different times so researchers tried to assign a stringency index.  This index would change with time as restrictions were added or relaxed.  Below is a plot of a few countries that show how stringency indexes changed with time.

I decided to take a weighted average stringency index for each country and see if it correlated with excess deaths.  If the restrictions worked I should see less deaths with more restrictions.  Previously I tried to plot COVID deaths vs stringency index and all I got was a shot gun blast.  There was no obvious correlation.  The problem is that not every country classified and recorded COVID deaths in the same way.  A good example of that is the comparison of Canada and Sweden below.

Sweden had 2 times as many COVID deaths than Canada yet somehow managed to have 4 times fewer excess deaths.  COVID death totals can be manipulated up or down to fit the prevailing narrative.  It is easy, all you do is change the cause of death of death on the certificate.  Changing the total number of deaths is impossible.  Sooner or later you would have to produce a body to go with the number.  Habeas Corpus is a legal principal for a reason.

So excess deaths is a far more accurate number than COVID deaths.  Using the more accurate excess deaths number I get a very good correlation.  One that does not support the lockdown narrative.

If lockdowns worked that line should have been sloping the opposite direction.  Not only don’t lockdowns work they lead to more deaths.  I grouped the countries in 3 groups low, medium, and high lockdown severity.  The groupings are as follows.

This is what it looks like graphically.

Any Country that reacted sanely did not have much trouble.  COVID amounted to nothing other than a mild flu year.  COVID was only a problem in Countries where politicians made it a problem.  This cannot be stated too many times.  Lockdowns Kill.  That much is clear.  So is it the lethality of lockdowns that makes them so attractive to left wing politicians?

We have been locked down for 17 months now.  It is the middle of summer.  COVID deaths fell to near zero 4 months ago yet we still live under restrictions.  2 days ago Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that mid-August restrictions would be relaxed again.  Alberta would be back to near normal.  This did not sit well with the hard left in Canada.

There is no right in Canada.  There is only left and more left.  Jason Kenney is left wing.  He is just not as left wing as most Canadian Politicians so in Canada he is considered hard right.  The Hard left in Canada includes the majority of politicians and an even larger majority of the media.  Canadian media treats any politician right of Joseph Stalin as hard right and a domestic terrorist.  They are very upset that Jason Kenney might not kill enough Albertans this summer.  It is long past time for us to stop listening to these murderous bastards.