Features Australia

Covid statistics tell a different story

Just how scared should we really be?

21 August 2021

9:00 AM

21 August 2021

9:00 AM

It is with head-shaking disbelief that New South Welshmen (in particular at the present) awake each new day to find yet more of our current lives and futures taken away from us by venal, dim-wit politicians. Such activity is, of course, not confined to the Premier State. As Dave Allen once related, when advised by his doctor that if he gave up women, booze and cigarettes he would live for an extra fifteen years, he replied, no, if he gave up women and booze and cigarettes it would just seem like he was living an extra fifteen years. Life under lockdown is a little like that.

As elsewhere, New South Wales is a one-party state. So, there is no joy to be found across the aisle on the Labor side. Equally, given that the whole country is a one-party state, there is nowhere else to go in this wide brown land where a free citizen might find, well, freedom. Or sanity. We are a federation without any competitive federalism.

Welcome to the Hotel California.

Each day, breathless, low-information journalists sit through press conferences that announce new restrictions upon us all as a result of ‘exploding’ case numbers. The word ‘numbers’ is important here. The whole Covid show, the Covid theatre, is about numbers. Would anyone even know there was a ‘crisis’ if not for these daily shows and the numbers they report?

Let us look a little more closely at these ‘numbers’, make some relevant comparisons and draw some conclusions.  Then ask the gauleiters a few pertinent questions, not the silly ones that journalists normally ask.

Setting aside irrelevant numbers, like the daily new cases, tediously trotted out, we find the following:

– As at 18 August 2021, there were 493 people in hospital across Australia ‘with Covid’. 500-odd out of 26 million;

– On 29 July, there were 243. These numbers include people admitted for, as Greg Hunt said, ‘clinical or observational reasons’. He didn’t say how many of each. So at least some of these were there simply being observed, not treated;

– That makes an increase of 250 hospitalisations nationally during this major Covid Delta strain ‘crisis’ in the first half of August. 250 doesn’t sound like much of a crisis to me;

– In 2017, an acknowledged bad season for influenza, there were around 233,000 laboratory flu ‘notifications’ across Oz, and 102,880 in the Premier State. Since March 2020, there have been 39,097 ‘cases’ of Covid Australia-wide. I make that a fair way short of the 2017 flu cases;

– There were 654 deaths ‘associated with’ flu in 2017 in New South Wales. We only just brought up a slow, Geoff Boycott-style century with Covid deaths over the weekend. For around eighteen months. New South Wales is still around 700 behind Victoria, of course, which still accounts for the massive majority of Covid deaths, on the strangely still employed Daniel Andrews’ watch. The Australian total number of deaths from flu for 2017 was 1,255;

– It is very hard to find total numbers of hospitalisations for Covid in Australia, a little odd one might suggest for such a significant statistic when considering policy formulation. But you can work it out, roughly. We have had a total of 13,503 cases of Covid in New South Wales, at the time of writing. Working on a global figure of around 12 per cent of Covid recorded cases leading to hospitalisation, let us therefore assume around one thousand total hospitalisations in New South Wales for the whole of the ‘pandemic’ period;

– Contrast this one thousand with 9,330 flu hospitalisations in 2017.

Just to repeat, in case the message is still unclear. Over nine thousand people were hospitalised with flu in 2017. During Covid, we have had around one thousand. If someone says to you anytime soon, ‘follow the science’, I humbly suggest the retort should be – ‘yes, but also follow the math’.

I was living in New Zealand during the ghastly 2017 flu season. But I was keeping up with the news from Australia, and I am almost certain I would remember if the whole country had shut down, with everybody locked up, thug police roaming the streets aggressively arresting grandmothers, shopkeepers and pregnant mothers, fining people tens of thousands of dollars for indulging their right to free speech, preventing all but a minority of people from being allowed to leave the country, forbidding Australians from returning to their country from overseas and threatening vaccine apartheid. And that is just from governments which claim to believe so strongly in liberalism that it is the title of their party.

The case against Covidmania has always been about perspective, despite the straw man arguments advanced by those who love a good lockdown or vaccine in the morning. Well, the numbers speak for themselves, and it is a disgrace that leading politicians of all parties who go along with the daily charades are not called to account over them.

The numbers demonstrate that Covid is not even remotely on a par with a recent, bad flu season, if you paint by numbers as you should in these matters. Not even close to a bad flu season.

I sometimes worry that talking too much or too loudly about bad flu seasons will only cause politicians intent on obliterating our freedom altogether to conclude we should shut down society and ruin everyone’s lives every time there is a bad influenza outbreak. Oh, hold on, doesn’t Bill Gates already believe this? It is, surely, only a matter of time before that view catches on.

As I have pointed out before, one of the oldest of political tricks is to point ‘over there’, to create false enemies, in order to deflect attention from one’s own performance. The daily Covid Theatre press conferences with all of their scary body counts (which aren’t all that scary in the grand scheme of things), are a major distraction from real numbers and relevant data, and so form a core part of the strategy currently adopted by our lying – yes, the numbers trotted out, by being irrelevant and utterly misleading, are on a par with lies – politicians. What with people dying from Covid in Liverpool Hospital after contracting it after being admitted for something else, there are no prizes for guessing why it is that our politicians wish to pivot away from the hard questions of Covid.

It is beyond time to keep the bastards honest, as someone once described the purpose of being in politics.

Start by making them accountable on the numbers.

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