I gave a talk recently called “Don’t Panic, Don’t Panic” and started with a picture of Cpl Jones from the TV show Dad’s Army running around waving his arms about and shouting “don’t panic” while panicking wildly. He reminds me of the world’s rulers.
Facts are wonderful things to dispel myths with. Since the Coronavirus outbreak started until March 20 there were 210 deaths where it was mentioned on the death certificates, according to the (UK) Office of National Statistics.
This also means little as virtually all these folk were elderly and already quite ill. The virus probably just added to their woes.
The figure, even counting this, was ONE PER CENT OF ALL DEATHS! Not exactly The Great Plague or The Black Death.
In the week ending March 20 there were 181 deaths linked to coronavirus. In the same week there were 1,841 deaths from flu and pneumonia – itself lower than the five-year average of 2,120 such deaths.
The ONS states: “In the two weeks up to 20 March, there were 108 deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19, 64 men and 44 women.
“The vast majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (100 out of 108), with almost half (45) of these occurring in the over-85 age group. nearly three-quarters were 75 and over, with just one involving a person under 45. Six out of ten 10 were male
The weekly statistics show the number of deaths for this time of year are down, with 10,645 deaths in England and Wales in total, compared with a five-year average of 10, 573 deaths. The real sickness is in the economy, which is being devastated.
There are around 220,000 food and drink-related businesses in the UK; 140,000 (64%) of these are service-based (including restaurants, food stalls and event caterers)
Today I saw one of the founders of the Brewdog brewery saying that if the shutdown lasts for three months 30 to 40 per cent of these businesses may not reopen. We are talking about a far worse “epidemic” than the flu.
The vast majority of service industries are now closed, together with schools and many other businesses, from car showrooms to hairdressers and many people who provide services in the home, from computer fixing to chiropody.
Many are already struggling to pay their bills. In turn, those who would get their payments will suffer in turn – it will be a torrent of debt raging through the nations and perhaps bringing down the world financial system.
When all the sectors being badly hit, from everyone paying rent to those depending on share dividends to pay their pensions, we are looking at a financial disaster that the nation may not easily recover from – not to mention the rest of the world.
The ONS website, packed with statistics, is: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19roundup/2020-03-26