The Netherlands Deceased 1995 – 2020
The year 2020 was not the year of a killer virus!
Copying a sentence from the blog mentioned below “the question one should always ask when seeing these articles/posts on “Excess Deaths” is: Excess to what, exactly….?”
Professor Eyal Shahar
“As far as I can tell from epidemiology textbooks on my bookshelf, matters have not improved much in the past two decades. Although many authors teach how to compute standardized rates (or probabilities), they don’t solidly explain why the difference between, and the ratio of, two standardized measures of frequency are unconfounded measures of association. Nor do they explain the arbitrary choice of a standard population, and how to reconcile different estimated effects from an infinite number of possible “standards”. Pdf Online
Comparing the deceased in the Netherlands in 3 age-groups;
80 plus, 65-80 and <65 years; year by year comparison (1995-2020). All numbers are derived from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and can be downloaded here. The date-stamp on the data I use is Jan 29, 2021.
Comparing a dynamic group with absolute numbers, in my view, is a mis-interpretation of the real situation and not a realistic representation. You use these numbers for decision making in a “crisis’ for the purpose of a balanced risk assessment. The reaction to this pandemic is not one of balanced risk assessment but one of worst-case-thinking. Please read “WHO Bulletin 2011 – Health is more than influenza” in this blog-post and you’ll see that we have not learned anything from the past.
Of-course 2020 has a number of deceased greater than 1950! A population of 17.4 million compared to 10.0 million!
Compare the age-group 80+, 2015 <> 2020; 734.976 <> 822.088.
Not to mention the number of people that represent 95+ years of age. With an average age of 83 years in the netherlands and a continues growing population of 80+ you do expect people to die reaching 80+.
2014 was the year with the lowest deceased percentage since 1995, 10.56%. The year 2000 was the worst with 13.24% deceased in the 80plus age-group.
The percentage for 2020 is: 11.64%. Does this percentage represent a crisis caused by a killer virus?
In 2020 this age-group represents 81% of the Dutch population. The total number of deceased is the lowest number (not %) since 1995, except for 2019. In 2020, a total of +713 people deceased, compared to 2019. Representing an increase of 0,004% with an age-group growth of 0,334%.
I try to present numbers that are easy to digest. Simple honest numbers that represent the reality! Why do we read fear-mongering headlines in our newspapers, especially the so cold main stream newspapers!? Why do we not hear about these numbers on the Dutch news channels!?
The Many Ways “Excess Deaths” (“Överdödlighet”) can fool you
In these Covid-times, traditional media, as well as various social media warriors, like to present “Excess Deaths” 2020, to either boost or downplay the severity of Covid-19.
However, the question one should always ask when seeing these articles/posts on “Excess Deaths” is:
Excess to what, exactly….?
If you want to draw any meaningful conclusions about the impact of Covid on deaths, you simply can’t take whatever number some analysis presents as “Excess Deaths” as gospel, at least not before you truly understand how that “Excess” is defined, and what the baseline is, how that baseline has been established.
“It is as though mankind had divided itself between those who believe in human omnipotence (who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organize masses for it) and those for whom powerlessness has become the major experience of their lives.” -Hannah Arendt