When the World Health Authority (WHO) declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, was that decision and the coersive measures implemented, founded on an observable pandemic?
Given the (as yet) scientifically uncorroborated but accepted assumption of the existence of contagious diseases, which will be addressed elsewhere, social distancing measures and lockdowns in particular were applied at most after the 3rd death of an alleged contagious disease. This may conform to the WHO or epidemiological definitions of a pandemic, according to which1 or 2 cases are sufficient, and it may even be authorized by the international treaties signed since 2005, but it defies common sense and logic since, if one is to take contagion at face value, these guidelines would entail that pandemics can be perpetual without any foreseeable end, implying constant and continual measures. Hence, the question requires rephrasing: were the decisions founded on what could be accepted as a sufficiently severe pandemic?
Based on the Eurostat database, we consider the number of overall cumulated weekly deaths in 2020 until the start of lockdowns in countries where these were enforced, or until the start of social distancing measures where there were no lockdowns. For Italy, lockdown began on 9 March, and the number of deaths until the end of week 11 was lower than in the first 11 weeks of 2018. For most countries, measures and lockdowns began during week 12, but the number of deaths until the end of week 12 was lower than in the first 12 weeks of 2018. For Germany, this was on 21 March, and the same holds until 20 March. For the remaining countries in Europe, this was during week 13 or on 24 March. For Poland and Hungary, the deaths remained lower than in 2018. For Cyprus and Armenia, they were lower than in 2017, for Georgia than in 2019. For Greece, whose population has been decreasing for some years, deaths per capita were lower than in 2017.
Was severity nonetheless sufficient to have resulted in an unusually high rate of hospitalization? Pure numerical data are unreliable for the decision to hospitalize is a subjective decision and can be unjustified, possibly even harmful. Hospitals themselves are known to be the source of infections. Hospitalization could therefore be contributing to the worsening of health and to increasing death rates. The data for England shows that for the first quarter 102,194 hospital beds were occupied by general and acute cases, which is less than in 2018 for the same period, when 103,335 hospital beds were occupied. Data for other countries was not available. However hospitalization rates were known to have been unusually high in several French cities in March 2018 and in several American cities throughout the 2018 winter.
Indeed, the number of patients diagnosed with influenza in the winter of 2018 was higher than in recent years in many countries, including China. As this suggests, any significant increase in severe morbidity in a class of disease for even one season, or part of a season since the high occurrence of influenza did not last all winter everywhere, should result in sufficiently higher overall mortality. This not being the case for the period leading up to the unprecedented lockdown and social distancing policies, these decisions could only be based on predictive pandemic figures, since no significant mortality increases or hospitalizations for 2020 had yet occurred.
- https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-coronavirus-lockdown-measures-compared/ ↑
- https://urmieray.com/part-3/ ↑
- https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database ↑
- https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/10/e003587 ↑
- https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/bed-data-overnight/ ↑
- https://www.20minutes.fr/sante/2239611-20180319-hopitaux-pourquoi-services-urgences-satures-plusieurs-villes-france ↑
- https://www.statnews.com/2018/01/15/flu-hospital-pandemics/ ↑
- http://en.nhc.gov.cn/2018-01/10/c_72791.htm ↑