The latest Euromomo graphs clearly show that excess deaths have peaked and are now declining everywhere in Europe. For the countries that had excess deaths, that is. A lot of countries have had nothing at all.
First of all, here’ s a graph of Europe as a whole (at least, all the participating countries). Week 17 2020 is at the end of the right-hand side (click to enlarge):
That graph uses numbers rather than z-scores. Note that although the peak was higher than winter 2016-17 and winter 2017-18, it was much narrower, so there would not have been that much more of a death toll overall than in those winters.
Individual country graphs
The individual country graphs are also very revealing. For one thing, many countries were completely unhit. Also, everywhere that was hit is now showing a decreasing death rate. I’ve got four snips of country graphs to show you. First up we have Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and France (click to enlarge).
These graphs use z-scores, which means they’re standardised to the norm for each country, so you can directly compare each country. So, Austria, Denmark, Estonia and Finland were completely flat for this winter and spring, not even any of the excess deaths you usually get every second or third winter. (Note that the standard for each country’s z-score is set to the norm you get around the most stable parts of spring and autumn, so excess winter deaths will show up.) Only Belgium and France had some excess deaths, but France is back to normal, and Belgium is almost back to normal.
Next graph is Germany (two graphs), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, and Italy (click to enlarge):
Only Italy shows any excess deaths, and it’s almost back to normal. Everywhere else has been as flat as a tack for the whole of winter and spring.
Third graph has Luxemberg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Spain (click to enlarge):
Only the Netherlands and Spain had anything out of the ordinary, and they’re now both back to normal (the Netherlands is in fact way under normal).
Finally, Sweden, Switzerland, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (click to enlarge):
Sweden doing much better than England
The amazing news here is that Sweden, with partial restrictions but no full lockdown, has only had a mild rise in deaths, and nothing out of the ordinary. Same for Switzerland, NI, Scotland and Wales. The biggest outlier is England, which has seen a large deviation from the norm on these z-score scales. Also, it looks like England’s peak has now passed, but it is plateauing much more than other countries and not coming down quickly. This is possibly because England is seeing extra deaths caused by the lockdown and the aggressive and insane ‘Stay At Home’ campaign, and the creepy NHS worship.
Has lockdown prevented deaths?
These graphs seem to show that the lockdown in the UK has not prevented any deaths. Lockdown proponents will say that the death toll would have been even greater without it, but these graphs show that this is very unlikely, because there was no country that was much worse hit than England. Also, Sweden, which had no lockdown, has done much better than England. Also, the NHS is nowhere near full. So it’s hard to see any reason (outside computer models from interested parties) to think that England’s figures would have been vastly higher if we had followed Sweden (and please don’t just say ‘But more Swedes live alone’). Would we really have been even more than twice as bad as Italy? (It’s possible that Italy’s figures will creep up, as possibly their death stats system is slower than ours, but I think my point will still stand.)
One objection that might be made to my claims here about these Euromomo graphs is that we need to be careful about the last week on the graphs, the ‘yellow zone’, ie. the yellow shading at the end. Most of the declines are in this yellow zone. But the yellow zone is an indication of where Euromomo doesn’t have the official figures yet. Euromomo says of the yellow zone figures that they are based on an algorithm which uses previous years’ data to predict what the figure for next week will be. But, our objector might say, what use is that going to be to us in this unprecedented situation?
However, I have been watching Euromomo’s ‘delay-adjusted’ figures for over a month now, and it seems to me that they are getting advanced notice of what figures are in the pipeline from the relevant statistical agencies. Bear in mind that the latest week that us being graphed here, week 17 (17-24 April), is 10-17 days behind now, so the statistical agencies will have a pretty good idea of what that week is looking like.
(I did e-mail Euromomo to ask about this a while ago but they haven’t replied.)
For instance, a few weeks ago the delay-adjusted figures for England massively spiked out of nowhere, and that could not have been from some algorithm that purely analysed previous year’s figures. It can only have come from the ONS telling them of the big spike. And it turned out that that big spike was right, because the ONS confirmed it a few days later. So I do take the declining numbers in the yellow zone seriously. After all, all the real-time data we’ve been hearing about recently indicates that Covid-19 deaths have been declining all over Europe in the last few weeks (including the UK, judging by the recent NHS figures), and while that data isn’t as reliable as ONS-type data, it still gives a picture of the overall trend.
My conclusions are that Covid-19 is over in Europe (for now, at least), the lockdown was completely unnecessary, and it probably killed people who would have lived had we not got so hysterical.