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by Toby Green
Tuesday, 4
May 2021
Spotted
07:00

Eastern Europe’s Covid lesson: it’s GDP, not lockdowns

The region's death rates are among the highest despite tough restrictions
by Toby Green
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic (L) Poland Prime Minister Mateusz (2L) Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babi (3L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R). Credit: Getty

While much of the media narrative around the European second and third waves is taken up by events in France, Germany and Italy, something very important has been happening in Eastern Europe. All the statistics show that, regardless of lockdown policy followed, it is in Eastern European countries that Covid-19 has been far and away most deadly – a pattern that has grown stronger in the past two months.

As of May 3rd — and excluding Gibraltar and San Marino for their tiny size — 10 European countries have coronavirus death rates of over 2000 people per million population: 8 of these are in Eastern Europe, added to by Belgium (2088 per million) and Italy (tenth out of ten, with 2001 per million).

Covid-19 death rates per million inhabitants in Europe as of end May 3rd, worldometers.info

Czechia (with the second worst death rate, of 2738 per million) has followed strict lockdowns all winter, with restrictions imposed in October and again in February. In Hungary, Viktor Orbán’s rule-by-decree was widely condemned when he introduced it in March 2020, and several severe lockdowns have followed – but the country currently has the worst death rate in the world, at 2895 per million. Bosnia (with the third worst rate, at 2620 per million) has also seen tight restrictions when Covid cases have risen.

What is behind this data? Regardless of the lockdown policies followed, it seems, something else has been going on – and some commonality is likely to exist among neighbouring countries with such severe mortality rates. More than lockdown policy, the thing that these Eastern European countries have in common is a comparatively low GDP compared to Western Europe.

It is not news that Covid is a disease which targets the poor. A Financial Times report into the “Covid Triangle” in East London — the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Newham, where Covid-19 deaths and infections have been appallingly high — made it clear that many residents were too poor to stop working in spite of being symptomatic, while the cramped living conditions and requirements to stay at home helped the virus to spread between generations.

In South America, Brazil’s chaotic response is rightly condemned, but things have been little better in neighbouring Peru, which has had one of the strictest lockdowns in the world — as of May 3, Peru has 1,863 deaths per million and Brazil 1,907.

In sum, the data emerging from Eastern Europe would seem to confirm the data from East London and South America, that lockdowns often do not protect the poor. Otherwise it is hard to understand why wealthy Sweden has less than half the deaths of Hungary per capita. India too has had lockdowns, but this has not stopped a resurgence of Covid in recent weeks. In fact, the immune systems of poorer people are weakened by a decline in access to healthy food and anxiety caused by a collapse in earnings, making them doubtless more susceptible to the disease.

Toby Green’s book The Covid Consensus: The New Politics of Global Inequality is published by Hurst. 

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

So finally an admission that confining people to their homes might cause more problems than it solves, something I have been saying since the beginning.
Then there’s the usual stuff about ‘the poor’ not having access to healthy food, which is just nonsense as fruit and veg are virtually free by historical standards.
Sweden did not succeed, relatively speaking, because it is rich, but because it did not lock down.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s hard to see what the writer is hoping to get us to conclude. I want to know the demographics of the deaths in those Eastern European countries, before concluding that wealth inequality is to blame. Were a large number of the fatalities non-elderly poor people, with no preexisting serious health conditions, who got the virus because they “couldn’t afford not to work”? What were the sources of most of the infections, i.e. how many of the people who died were living in long-term care homes or other institutional settings? What was the median age of those who died?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago

As far as i know, in Hungary it was the elderly. The very elderly, predominantly in care homes in the capital. Which points to mismanagement issues on the local (council) levels not discussed in the article.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

” that lockdowns often do not protect the poor. Otherwise it is hard to understand why wealthy Sweden has less than half the deaths of Hungary per capita.”

OK, Make the facts fit the agenda. Well done, this is pure, ‘fallow the science’, liberal agenda beating a story into the box it wishes, although the causation/correlation question must be thrown to the wind along with the ‘of/with’ one.

China 3 deaths per million! Vietnam 0.4 Deaths per Million!!! Those Vietnamese must be rich as Bill Gates! Cambodia 0 deaths! I suppose they all drive golden Rolls Royces there.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Brilliant……hindsight.

Marek Möhling
Marek Möhling
2 years ago

As usual in contemporary journalism, the piece doesn’t check for genetic confounds, as these eight countries have another thing in common – their populations are Slavic. Hungary is culturally and linguistically Magyar, but ethnically overwhelmingly Slavic, the genetic signal of the 9th century Magyar conquerors is weak, they were a small warrior elite. Most Hungarians became officially Magyar during the forced Magyarisation of the 19th century.

»In South America, Brazil’s chaotic response is rightly condemned, but things have been little better in neighbouring Peru, which has had one of the strictest lockdowns in the world — as of May 3, Peru has 1,863 deaths per million and Brazil 1,907.«

Both countries and their neighbours have something else in common – most inhabitants are Mestizo, most of them with a strong native Indian component, else a black one, or both. On the whole, South America is heavier hit than Central America and the Caribbean, I have no theory on that, but both South and Central American immigrants are heavier hit than whites or East Asians in the USA. Remember, that in Switzerland ethnic French and Italians are heavier hit than Germans. There doesn’t seem to be such pattern in Belgium, but as it is heavily immigrant by now this may overlay differences between Flemish and Walloon.

Anyway, social research that doesn’t check for genetic confounds is bound to err when disentangling factors like income, family size, or GDP, which tend to correlate with ethnicity to a relevant degree. As this subject is fraught with taboo both for present immigration policy and recent history and even more so by stifling Marxist/progressive theory regarding the nature/nurture debate that likely won’t change, even when consequences are dear.

Last edited 2 years ago by Marek Möhling
TIM HUTCHENCE
TIM HUTCHENCE
2 years ago
Reply to  Marek Möhling

Belgium is also an major international hub with lots of comings and goings – HQ of the EU and all that.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Marek Möhling

Bingo – it is all genetic. Some peoples get it some do not. Instead of the stupid way this agenda is presented it should be by Nationality AND include the far East having only single digits deaths per million (Chine 3). When the Europeans hit the new lands they wiped out the locals who had no immunity to their minor illnesses – crazy writers like this one would say it was because the natives were poorer than the newcommers!

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
2 years ago
Reply to  Marek Möhling

Very interesting, thank you.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 years ago

If only someone had warned that lockdowns were not the magical solution, and could well create other problems. Oh, wait; people did warn of that and they were accused of wanting to kill grandma.
 many residents were too poor to stop working In the US we took care of that by making it more financially rewarding to NOT work than to work, and now a lot of places struggling to reopen can’t find people willing to give up their govt checks.

Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
2 years ago

It is not that COVID targets the poor but that it targets those that can’t isolate, live in close quarters etc. One of the most pernicious things about lockdown policies is that they protect the wrong people. Those with white collar jobs and are generally healthy can isolate and protect themselves leaving those who work essential jobs or live in close contact with someone who does as well as those who must receive regular health services to weather the storm.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

The Chinese never locked down (except the door being welded shut in Wuhan for the news cameras) and they had 3 deaths per million, about 1/600th what the West had, which someone who had not bought 100% into the agenda would find suspicious.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You trust Chinese figures? They must be the worst of a bad lot.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

The entire region same:
Taiwan, 48 deaths per million, Thailand, 4, Vietnam 0.4, Laos 0, Cambodia, 6, South Korea 36, Japan 82, China 3, YES, THREE PER MILLION!!!!
Do you say the Japanese, that nation of old people, like S Korea, are telling untruths? Is Taiwan cheating the numbers? NO IT IS NOT DEADLY THERE!!!!!!!! Look at Africa, it is not much there, this is really a Western disease. Even there it NEVER should have had lockdown!

USA, 1780, UK 1871, !!! Deaths per million, about 600 times as many!

Belarus, no lockdown, 278, Poland, 1802, did lock down.

Remember the old stories of giving smallpox infected blankets to the Natives in America? They have been shown to be untrue, but…..

Turn to the Daily Mail now, USA section, INFLATION SHOOTING UP! If inflation gets happening expect the destruction of the Western economies. If Inflation rises, so must interest, and so it goes, boom! 95% of economic pundits on youtube agree with Powell (USA Fed) that this huge stock boom, Bull run, will just keep on for ever, the 27 trillion deficit, the coming 8 trillion feeding it as it all goes into the stock market and hard asserts, interest rate ZERO, 1.7%, 10 year Treasury Bond, – WILE INFLATION WILL BE ‘TRANSITORY’. That laws of Physics are not true anymore, thanks to MMT, that we are in a huge growth phase….. Could be, but I cannot believe it. Tomorrow I go buy another silver monster box from my bullion dealer, and more uranium mining stock. (But I may well loose, but even if metals do not rise but fall, I still have the metals – but Bitcoin? Tesla? Who knows.)

(I mostly do Lumber cobstruction, am not now as Lunber is up 400% – check youtube if you cannot believe it, copper 100% PVC 200%, oil 100%, and so I sit here and post…)
Lockdown has been crazy.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Better prepared perhaps!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

“Better prepared perhaps!”
You mean like they knew what was coming? That they intentionally fed the bats to the pangolins and then to the ‘Wet Market’ wile allowing 1.2 million international passengers depart Wuhan airport wile locking all domestic travel? I doubt it very much.
From what I know of China’s economy it is a house of cards too – their demographics going bad as aging of the work force kicks in – in fact India’s demographics would indicate they will be the world superpower in 30 years, they are young, and the Indians, like the Chinese, have high IQs and are naturally good at business. If a crash happens I will be buying some Indian ETFs.

Jim McNeillie
Jim McNeillie
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“Indians, like the Chinese, have high IQs and are naturally good at business”?
That seems a bit of a generalization.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
2 years ago

It also targets the old, frail, fat, male, and certain races. My guess is that the poverty issue will be one of many contributors when the dust settles, and probably one of the poorer predictors. As another poster already has pointed out, if poverty were a great predictor, why hasn’t Vietnam or Haiti been decimated?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

I’ve thought for a while now that differences in COVID death rates prior to the vaccination programme kicking in will eventually be found to have been little affected by government responses. Instead they will prove to have been largely or perhaps wholly driven by demography.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The writer above does not include Belarus – the second European nation which did NOT lockdown. I think we are finding lockdown kills.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas
  • Just looked up Worldometers,
  • Belarus 273 deaths per million, pretty much lowest in the region. No Lockdown, must be very wealthy.
Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
2 years ago

India’s resurgence is most likely due to the UK , SA strain or at least it is mutation of the earlier virus which was abating . India’s poor are not the only ones dying really. It’s a pandemic of obesity, old age, and illness like type 2 diabetes ( also linked to obesity) . Have a look at most of the pictures posted. Most of those struggling to breathe are fat or old . Lockdowns do nothing as the endemic health of the population (as in most countries) is poor. Even among the wealthy. There is no concept of exercise and control over consumption. In cities everyone is using cars for small journeys and air conditioning is making the hot climate of the city even hotter. Vit D deficiency is huge as most wealthy like to hide away from the hot sun.

I’ll bet the guy who pulls the rickshaw for pennies all day, or the poor labourer who works at building sites is super healthy and unlikely to be taking part in this Covid drama .

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
2 years ago

The”guy who pulls the rickshaws” is unlikely to be well fed. He probably has more resistance to infections having survived a precarious childhood.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago

Most of the Indian victims are neither old nor fat.

You are a victim-blaming health fascist with a contempt for the elderly and the frail.

But keep going to your Strength Through Joy Rallies – they’ll keep you healthy.

Only the Strong should Survive, yes ?

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Buck
JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

GDP is only one data point. Several of these countries also have very high median age, for example.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Not sure… Places like Bosnia I would expect have lower median age (need to check).
Certainly Italy has very high median age.

Anyway, that covid targets the poor (as Gupta pointed out months ago) is something we ought to remember.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Median age is also just one data point. Bosnia has a similar (slightly higher) median age as Belgium but there may be other factors. For example, what is the prevalence of other co-morbidities in these countries (like obesity and diabetes)? What is air quality like there? I’m not disagreeing, just saying that the truth is probably much more complicated.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

India’s population is relatively young but there are still a lot of elderly , many obese, several with type 2 diabetes . The disease is respiratory. It will affect, anyone with poor lung health, badly . Again the same logic as in any country of the world.
The spread in those countries without lockdown is like a superficial wildfire. Some will die but huge numbers will survive . Best to concentrate on rate of survival.

The only thing that may be of concern is that India does not have enough oxygen in the hospitals. However no one can/ could have predicted the mutations .

I still think those without lockdown will fare better in the future. Time will be the judge .

Mark H
Mark H
2 years ago

“Too poor to stop working” – that’s exactly the dilemma that has led to the massive surges in Brazil and India. In the UK the wealth of the country – and good tax base – has provided much greater support for the working poor with the furlough scheme and unemployment benefits.
These observations are based on conversations with friends who are in those situations…

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

And yet, the UK has had to date about 10 times the deaths per million as India.
So, is the “greater support” from the UK beneficial?
On the raw figures, it suggests that it has caused 90% of the deaths.
We need to look elsewhere for the causes, as wealth does not seem to have a beneficial effect.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

I’m sure that even within a country, the reasons for deaths are complicated, let alone comparisons between one country and another, but when you say that the UK has 10 times the death rate of India, I’d say that it’s probable that the UK’s quality of statistics is above average, while that of India is below.
I read many accounts of people who know of many relations and acquaintances who have died of Covid in India, whereas the one and only death I know about near me is of someone in a care home aged 87 with dementia who was never even seen by a doctor. Also, I know of only one person who contracted it, along with the rest of the family of four, who all recovered without hospitalisation.
Statistical analysis and argument will run for years.

Last edited 2 years ago by Colin Elliott
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

“I’d say that it’s probable that the UK’s quality of statistics is above average,” OK, why has Vietnam had 0.4 deaths per million, Worldometers, and check out the region, 5 deaths per million tops! Are you saying they are to stupid to count bodies?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Yet we all know by now that 10 million die every year in India, a lot of them from respiratory disease exacerbated by poor air quality. 2,000 die every day from diarrhoea alone. Mainly children. What is happening in India is awful, but the press has leapt on it because it is Covid. Normally they hardly give it a passing glance. India has amongst other things a huge population and a poverty problem. Also 20% are diabetic.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

“”“Too poor to stop working””” This writer is making it up to fit his agenda. China 3 deaths per million – were they too poor to work? Because their industrial output never stopped, they traveled in the hundreds of millions during their great national holidays – they kept working except for some show examples like Wuhan in 2020 Jan and Feb, then it was all work as normal.

Todd Kreider
Todd Kreider
2 years ago

“In sum, the data emerging from Eastern Europe would seem to confirm the data from East London and South America, that lockdowns often do not protect the poor.”
A great understatement and one that has been obvious for a year.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Todd Kreider

In much of the world the lockdowns are going to protect the poor from having jobs as the low income service jobs were the first to disappear in lockdown.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

Money is undoubtedly an issue for these countries. Czechia has been suffering horribly since autumn. I suspected that they had developed a more virulent mutation there…but without the sequencing capacities of their wealthier western European friends, there was no real way of monitoring this.

On the other hand, there is also an element of carelessness and hubris. In normal times, I am often in Czechia and witnessed how, after having crushed the outbreak so well in spring of 2020, people thought it was over and spent the summer partying and crowding together and generally not cultivating the social distancing habits which were going to be needed in winter.

I remember sitting outside my favourite beer haunt in Brno one evening in July, loving the relaxed atmosphere and the music, but also thinking: “come the cold weather, the proverbial is going to hit the fan here, big time.” And it did.

TIM HUTCHENCE
TIM HUTCHENCE
2 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Define big time? I presume you have interrogated excess death numbers to arrive at your rather tabloid headline?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago
Reply to  TIM HUTCHENCE

Don’t take stuff so seriously. A little hyperbole here and there doesn’t harm anyone.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

sitting outside my favourite beer haunt in Brno one evening in July

You are breaking my heart, Katharine. Drink a piccolo or five for me, soonest you can.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

Will do. Brno – one of the most fabulous cities in Europe. Forget Prague. Head to Brno and Olomouc instead.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
2 years ago

I see that you do not mention India in your table of deaths per million.
According to the BBC the number of deaths to date are 222,000, out of a population of 1,400,000,000 – approx 160 per million!
This rather negates from your argument.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

But also looking at India as a monolith is meaningless, isn’t it?

Ulrich Dermann
Ulrich Dermann
2 years ago

I’m from Hungary, and while I completely disagree with the lockdowns, the author is using misleading data. Excess deaths in Hungary has not been high at all. The high numbers is not a matter of GDP, but a matter of exaggeration, the government recently admitted that they even counts fatal car accidents if the victim tests positive.
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/excess-mortality-across-countries-in-2020/
Also you can look at Euromomo

Tim Diggle
Tim Diggle
2 years ago

Looking at all the articles, and their attendant comments, on this subject it increasingly occurs to me that a valid argument can be constructed for almost any viewpoint. GDP, demography, ethnicity, government/civic action, government/civic inaction, vaccines, vitamins, obesity, malnutrition – you name it, somewhere there is a paper or statistical analysis illustrating its effect.
The only conclusion I have drawn is that the most sophisticated and highly developed species ever to occupy this planet has been banjaxed by something too simple even to qualify as a living cellular entity! Maybe a discussion about arrogance, over-confidence or a mis-placed belief in exceptionalism could be informative – just leave your God or Gods out of it …

Last edited 2 years ago by Tim Diggle
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Diggle

There is 1 allowed conclusion, and that is lockdowns came too late and eased too soon and did not come back quick enough, and eased too soon again, and were never enforced enough – and all deaths are from this, insufficient lockdowns, keep up with the agenda.

The New World Order Will Not Be Televised. Amazing Funk-Rap 1970s Music – what junk you new generations produce.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnJFhuOWgXg

Last edited 2 years ago by Galeti Tavas
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Diggle

This is because governments have done awful things to their populations and have to double down to defend their actions and keep the same narrative. Dissenting voices have been silenced.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Diggle

Why leave God out of it ? Do you think that the pandemic would – could – have happened without His permission ?

And why be misanthropic ? Why not believe in exceptionalism ?

Or do you believe that human beings are of no more account than microbes ?

No other species goes in for debates on wide issues. And no one believes that human exceptionalism is an amulet or charm against misfortune.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago

Could journalist please stop using the ‘Eastern’ misnomer? Half of those ex-soviet-bloc countries are Central Europe, the rest are Southern Europe. Some of the ex-Yugo nations are culturally closer to Italy for example than to their neighbours, which are culturally closer to Orthodox Greece for example. The ex-soviet-bloc Central European nations are no less “Western” than, say, Austria or Switzerland – 45 years of communist occupation does not mysteriously change their geo-cultural location. The Baltic states are Northern European. Etc.

Penny Mcwilliams
Penny Mcwilliams
2 years ago

This is just misuse of statistics, frankly. Claiming to draw conclusions that would rely on regressional analysis of data on multiple factors of a common dataset, rather than a single isolated factor such as GDP, is bad science, and just not justified by the data presented. Not as though it is even over yet, either here or elsewhere. I prefer to wait for a proper retrospective statistical analysis, done by someone who knows what they are doing, not this biased justification of a prior political conclusion. Not impressed.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
2 years ago

Absolutely. An analysis which considered all the factors to answer why Eastern Europe was hardly touched first time round but has been hammered so hard this time that so many countries have overtaken the hardest hit Western European countries in the overall league table, might be illuminating. It is likely we will see a repeat of that in South America as that continent goes into winter with Uruguay and Paraguay for instance hardly hit last time but looking like heading to the top of the league by their spring.
Sadly for the Eastern European countries that joined the EU they have also been hit by the EU’s disastrous make sure all EU countries do equally badly on vaccination policy. At least Hungary had the good sense to stick 2 fingers up at Brussels (Belgium has been the worst hit Western EU country in both waves) and bought Russian (something the Germans are also considering doing).

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago

When is the world finally going to wake up realising that an infectious disease has two components: 1) and infectious agent and more important 2) the conditions for the infectious agent to catch on. Further, 2) will also determine the severity of the illness that comes with the infection.
Covid may well tun out to be an illness related to how healthily a population lives, and particularly eats…. sugar and highly refined food are serious inflammatory agents….. but of course, that is too simple: making complicated vaccines which may or may not help is much more interesting and exciting. Medicine has become like a soap opera fed by lazy journalists…

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

I don’t believe anything they say about covid. It is all nonsense as far as I can tell. Is there even a virus or did we just shutdown our medical facilities, isolated the sick and elderly, and slowly culled a ton of them off. Gates and Fauci belong at new Nuremburg trials.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Sad that the Great Barrington Declaration couldn’t keep the seniors out of harm’s way. Also sad that the connection between Vitamin D and illness can’t be examined. The poor often neglect supplements that are needed in days with less sunlight. So the lockdowns keep even more inside away from the sun.

It’s clear that lockdowns don’t have evidence proving they work for limiting Covid-19 spread. Why do they continue?

Karen Jemmett
Karen Jemmett
2 years ago

Yes, but the UK’s deaths per million population (2,902) isn’t far behind Brazil’s and Peru’s. While, Lithuania’s is 1,419, Croatia’s is 1,774, Poland’s is 1,793,Romania’s is 1,446, Kosovo is 1,189, Latvia’s 1,126, even Ukraine’s is only 1,050, Estonia’s is 883, Albania’s 840, while Russia’s is 757. I do wonder if Toby has been a tad selective in his analysis, perhaps?

jesperaudi
jesperaudi
2 years ago
Reply to  Karen Jemmett

I think you should look at the excess deaths figures also. I have seen the ones for Russia and they bear no relation to the Official worldometer statistics.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
2 years ago
Reply to  Karen Jemmett

Because Britain is very urban and – where populated at all – very densely populated.

jesperaudi
jesperaudi
2 years ago

No one seems to be questioning the above numbers. I think you should look at the excess deaths figures also. I have seen the ones for Russia and they bear no relation to the Official worldometer statistics, being then placed within the top 3 or 4. And I cannot believe India or even Brazil is not substantially higher.
Our numbers are based on death within 28 days of a test.
It’s very difficult to make conclusions on what might be relatively minor differences (eg France 20% below ours) without knowing how numbers are assembled let alone, ethnic make-up, travel hubs, mix of urban/rural, housing, numbers in care-homes, care home policies, religion even.
Who knows? but it is clear that lock-downs are not the only variable, so I don’t think that association is proven
….even though I do think Sweden’s experiment interesting. Perhaps it was one the UK was considering in the weeks before 1st lockdown.

Last edited 2 years ago by jesperaudi
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago

What didn’t help in Hungary’s case was (still is) the relentless sabotage by the opposition (a left/lib/far-right coalition) of any measure the government came up with. Unlike in the “west”, in Hungary the leftists are the rabid, loud antivaxxers. They wanted to open up during lockdown, now they want to lock down when the country is opening up, they cry blue murder about vaccines, & so forth & so forth. All just to spite Orbán, nevermind the dead.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
2 years ago

For those not familiar with Hungarian politics: there is (or was, rather) indeed a ‘far right’ party, called Jobbik. The largest opposition party, with an occasionally paramilitant past and overt antisemitic tendencies. Currently they horseshoed themselves into a loving, caring coalition with the smattering of communist, socialist, liberal, woke, & whatnot little parties, to form an “opposition” to Orbán’s governing Fidesz party, so technically Jobbik is rather ‘far left’ than ‘far right’. The political left is a much more fitting position for them anyway, given that they are antisemites which is a traditionally leftist thing.