Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad
… I thought it better to light a candle than curse the darkness, but public support for our state's response to COVID-19 now seems to suggest modern Britons love the dark.
Overall conclusion on the coronavirus debacle? […] It’s this — we are governed by some seriously unpleasant bastards. Plus some fools and some who are both. But we knew that.
“The problem is that we are surrounded by otherwise intelligent people who, when faced with the Covid virus, are rendered incapable of rational thought.”
My cod-psychology theory explains this by way of a person’s attitude to death. I would suggest that those people who have either experienced a close shave with death, or have already considered their own mortality will be largely unaffected by covid, their personality will remain the same as it was before. A cautious person will still be cautious, a hedonist still out there partying. Whereas someone who has not ever really sat down and come to terms with the idea that they are going to die and have just pushed that inconvenient fact way to the back of their brain will have received a massive psychological jolt from covid – all their brain will be screaming to them is ‘You are going to die!!!!!!’ over and over again, and this will result in a fundamental change in personality. Formerly logical and carefree people will be spraying everything with dettol and driving around in the car wearing a mask, because their mortality has been dragged to the front of their mind, and its all they can now think about.
Jim, 20 June 2021
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay, 1852
Graph Update 2021 week 39
Week 39; continuing higher that usual for this time of year which may be explained by this note by the ONS:
The average time from death to registration has increased slightly in recent weeks because of multiple pressures on local registration services as they return to delivering their full range of duties following reduced services during the coronavirus pandemic. This is in addition to working through a backlog of birth registrations that were delayed, and changes to marriage and immigration law.
On the other hand, sad to say I no longer entirely trust even the ONS.
ONS Weekly reported deaths 2010-2020
Comparing cumulative deaths on a mid-year to mid-year basis.
ONS Weekly reported deaths 2010-2021 by age group
ONS England and Wales weekly deaths under 75
NHS England, compared to ONS by date of death
From week 11 of 2020 this includes "a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving COVID-19. That is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions".
ONS all deaths 2015-2020
Notes from the ONS
Counting deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19)
And the notes that accompany the weekly registered deaths:
Weekly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales for which data are available, and the number of deaths for which the underlying cause was coded to respiratory diseases as defined in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Tenth Revision (ICD-10).
From 31 March 2020 these figures also show the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19), based on any mention of COVID-19 on the death certificate.
Provisional data on deaths registered in each week (ending on a Friday) are compiled at the end of the following week.
Bank Holidays could affect the number of registrations made within those weeks.
The counts of deaths from specific conditons are updated with each weekly publication as the coding of the underlying cause is not always complete at the time of production.
To meet user needs, we publish very timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional dataset. These are presented by sex, age group and regions (within England), as well as for Wales as a whole. To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends.
Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving COVID-19. That is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. Previously, the number of deaths with an underlying cause of respiratory disease was published a week behind the current week. These will now be published for the current week and revised the following week. Alongside this, a new bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic. A link to the bulletin can be found in the notice box on the weekly deaths dataset page.