In a previous article I introduced the concept of looking at mortality from non-respiratory causes (i.e., not deaths from flu, Covid or other similar pathogens) as a better indicator of core mortality changes in the U.K. population than either excess deaths alone (or even excess non-Covid deaths). This is because most of the variation in the number of deaths between winter and summer and from year to year are due to respiratory causes; thus, take those out and you get a clearer picture of the underlying health of the population and whether people are generally getting sick and dying more or less than in recent years from causes such as cardiovascular problems, cancer, Alzheimer’s and so on.
I decided to go back and re-analyse the data in order to see how excess non-respiratory mortality has accumulated over the last few years. I discovered that this showed a total for 2021, 2022 and 2023 (thus far) of 49,696 deaths. When one takes into account the mortality displacement for this time period (owing to the pandemic bringing expected deaths forward; explained here), which I estimate as 23,650 deaths, the non-respiratory excess mortality reaches 73,346 deaths.
Comparing this to the number of deaths due to Covid (as underlying cause) over the same time period, which total 89,629 deaths, we see that the Covid figure is just 16,283 or 22% higher. Bearing in mind that it is widely acknowledged that there has been overcounting of Covid deaths (and thus conversely undercounting of non-respiratory deaths), the two tallies are now broadly similar, and thus an emergency situation at least as dangerous as the pandemic itself has arisen, which must surely now be addressed by the authorities.
To highlight the overcounting of Covid deaths, one only need compare the data for ‘deaths due to’ against ‘deaths with’ for COVID-19, and contrast it with the figures for other respiratory diseases. For Covid around 82% of deaths ‘with Covid’ are claimed to be ‘due to’ Covid over the course of the pandemic, yet with all other respiratory diseases only 34% of deaths ‘with’ the disease are claimed to be ‘due to’ it. The reason for the considerable discrepancy is unclear and suggests Covid is being significantly over-attributed as underlying cause.
For this article I calculated the number of excess non-respiratory deaths (relative to 2015-2019 pre-Covid averages) for each week of the year, and then calculated the cumulative values over the course of a full year. These charts confirm the suitability of the concept of non-respiratory mortality to serve as a stable core mortality rate that does not normally vary significantly from year to year. This is because there is a clear tendency (pre-Covid) for the cumulative non-respiratory mortality values to tend back to zero (i.e., the x-axis) if there has been a period of abnormal positive or negative values for an extended time. This indicates the role of mortality displacement in causing overall deaths to even out over time.