Flat White

# Death, Covid and freedom

6 September 2021

4:00 AM

6 September 2021

4:00 AM

Let’s talk about death — because until we do talk about death we will never be free of the fear of Covid-19 that has been instilled by our authoritarian political leaders and chief health officers.

To put the fear into perspective and to decide when society can function again without lockdowns, curfews and other onerous restrictions it is almost pointless to discuss vaccination rates as a roadmap out until we know the number of people that die each year.

And also how many people will continue to die after the various vaccine rates have been reached so we can assess the broader social costs of the brutal pandemic measures introduced.

Essentially, society must measure the cost of lockdowns, the undermining of civil liberties, and economic ruination versus deaths

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, 169,301 Australians died, which was an increase of 10,808 on 2018 – a rise of 6.08%.

That is the equivalent of one person dying every three minutes and ten seconds or 463 people per day.

The Doherty Institute has modelled the number of deaths likely to occur over a 180 day period with adult vaccination levels of 50% (8894 deaths), 60% (5294 deaths), 70% (1984 deaths), and at 80% (1291 deaths).

If you annualise the data at 50% vaxxed 17,788 people will die; at 60% 10,558; at 70% 3,968; and, at 80% 2582.

So what does this reveal?

Well, using deaths per minute:

• At 50% a person will die every 2 minutes and 8 seconds
• At 60% a person will die every 2 minutes and .92 seconds.
• At 70% a person will die every 3 minutes and .03 seconds.
• At 80% a person will die every 3 minutes and .05 seconds.

The difference between opening at 50% v 80% is another death every 0.25 seconds.

Opening at 50% compared with the 2019 rate of 3 minutes 10 seconds is a difference of just .30 seconds – not much in the scheme of things.

But what of daily deaths?

In 2019 463 people died per day. At a 50% vax rate 512 people will die per day; at 60% 492; at 70% 474; and, at 80% 470.

The difference in death rates opening up at 50% versus 80% is 42 people per day.

Also even if society was freed at 50% the actual death rate would decline as more people became vaccinated over the course of the year. The figure of 17,788 is actually a hypothetical figure based on a constant 50% vax rate.

My personal view is that if the public were aware of the annual pre-pandemic death rate then our political leaders and chief health officers would be harder pressed to justify the harsh lockdowns they do.

I believe people would be prepared to make their own risk assessments and, further, I believe that people would accept a trade-off between an increased death rate and the reopening of society with some sensible measures such as social distancing and masking where appropriate.

People die every day and will continue to do so. It is estimated that 100 billion people on earth have died before us and into the future no doubt another 100 billion will die after us.

Governments cannot protect us from death and that has been the folly of the current approach by the federal and state governments. It is simply the culmination of life. And we should not be afraid of it.

By framing their measures to deal with Covid-19 as an issue of “saving lives” as opposed to simply managing a pandemic the politicians and CHOs have atomised society and are doing untold damage to it and individuals and the economy.

Society is more than the sum of Covid-19 infections and deaths announced each day which are used to lock people into a spiral of despair.

Society is about people and community, not numbers, something our “leaders” seem to ignore having locked themselves into a mono-dimensional mindset fixated on simply “saving lives” and a very few number of lives at that if looked at in perspective.

It is time for a wholesale reassessment of the approach adopted to manage this pandemic.

As a friend of mine said recently:“Pretty soon the State will have to weigh up the value of a human life and calculate the deadly arithmetic of balancing deaths against freedoms. This is pointy-end politics, and a sure-fire loser for those that must make decisions. But made they must be.”

He is right, but whether our pandemic overlords have the courage to reassess their own failings in dealing with the pandemic remains to be seen.