By Floris Vos
To limit basic human rights, good arguments are needed. A pandemic might be such an argument. But what is a pandemic? The WHO defined this in 2009: “An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness”.1
In this article, statistics will be presented from official sources such as Statistisches Bundesamt, WHO, RKI and statista.com to show that calling covid-19 a pandemic is highly questionable, and that the preventive measures are not in relation to the danger of the disease.
This will be done mainly using two statistics: the low excess mortality in Germany in 2020 and the historically low occupation of hospital beds in Germany in 2020. To give these statistics context they are contrasted by the death rate of the Spanish flu, which had a world wide death rate fifty times higher than that of covid-19.
The findings in short:
• In 2020 there was only minor excess mortality (10.182 excess deaths, or 1,0%) and in early 2021, deaths in Germany have been below the expected mortality based on the previous five years’ average, despite covid-19
• Covid-19 patients never exceeded 23,5% of the total patients being treated in intensive care units, and there was an all time low occupation of hospital beds in 2020
• Spanish flu had a mortality rate 30 to 75 times higher than the presumed mortality rate of covid-19
2020: a year with no significant excess mortality
If covid-19 is the cause of a large amount of deaths, this will show up in the yearly mortality rates. There would be so called excess mortality. Excess mortality is the difference between the amount of people who died in a given year, and the amount of people that were expected to die based on the average of the past 5 years. In 2020, the year in which the corona virus became active in Germany, there was an excess mortality of 10.182 deaths, or 1% of all deaths, according to calculations of Prof. Dr. Bernhard Gill (Institut für Soziologie der LMU München).
A short explanation of this statistic: in the past 10 years, the amount of yearly deaths has grown with approximately 1,5% a year, due to population growth and changing of the age-distribution towards an older population. Based on this trend, 972.307 deaths were expected in 2020, whereas 982.489 deaths were actually recorded.2 This is a smaller excess mortality than 2015 (1,71%) and 2018 (0,91%).3
The German federal office of statistics writes that since February 2021 death figures have been below the average of the five previous years,4 indicating that the situation in 2021 is likely not significantly different from the one in 2020.
In terms of total mortality in Germany, it appears that nothing is out of the ordinary, despite the claim that we are currently witnessing a pandemic. If there is a pandemic going on, it has not caused excess deaths in Germany. Most likely, deaths attributed to covid-19 were deaths that would have occurred regardless of whether the people had been tested positive of covid-19 or not. No wonder, when the average age of the deceased (81,34 years old) approximates the life expectancy of German people (78,6 years for men, 83,4 years for women).
Empty beds in hospitals
Under the justification that beds should be kept free for possible covid-19 patients, hospitals have been paid 560 euro’s a day per empty bed, since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.5 This is the main reason that many operations, including operations for cancer, have been postponed. For regular hospitals in 2020, this led to a reduction of occupation of 10,2% compared to 2019, and an increase of 375 million euro’s income compared to 2019.6
The introduction of payment for empty beds, resulted in 6000 additional beds being created. Later regulation of this rule led to 6000 beds being removed again. Hospitals dealt with 13% less cases in 2020 compared to 2019.7
In the intensive care, corona patients were responsible for around 3,6% of the total occupation of beds. A surprisingly low number, from the point of view that we are experiencing a pandemic. To judge the situation accurately, however, maximum occupation of the intensive care must be taken into account as well. For this, the DIVI-intensivregister can be used. Early on during the pandemic, the DIVI-intensivregister was created to show the occupation of beds in the intensive care; it provides numbers for free beds, occupied beds, and specifically patients with covid-19. As with all data, some caution must be used. In this statistic, everybody with a positive PCR test is counted as a person with covid-19 on the intensive care unit. Approximately 10% of the people with a positive PCR test are not actually being treated for covid-19, according to research of Die Zeit.8
The DIVI-intensivregister shows that at the peak occupation of the intensive care units, at the 3th of january 2021, 5.745 patients had a positive PCR test. Adjusting for those who are not being treated for covid-19, this comes to 5.170 patients, or 23,5% of all patients. At the same time,16.833 patients were treated for other causes, and 4.688 intensive care beds were free – not including an emergency reserve of over 10.000 beds.9
If the healthcare system was at it’s limit at any time (which does not show in the statistics), the cause cannot be covid-19; as overall full capacity of hospital beds was not reached by far.
The Spanish flu: 50 times more deadly then covid-19
Dr. Christina Berndt wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 23th december, 2020, that never in the history of the German republic, so many people died of one single disease.10 By limiting the time frame to the history of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, she could avoid mentioning that only a hundred years ago, a much more lethal pandemic took it’s hold of the world.
According to estimations of the WHO, between 20 million and 50 million deaths resulted from the Spanish flu between 1918 and 1920.11 In 1920, the world’s population consisted of approximately 1,8 billion people. This means that between 1,1% and 2,8% of the world population died of the Spanish flu. Most people must have known somebody who had died of it. So far, 2,9 million people who tested positive for corona died world wide.12 For a world population of 7,8 billion, this means that 0,04% of the world population died with a positive corona test, or 1 in 2500.
A comparison between these numbers shows that for every person who might have died of covid-19, 30 to 75 would have died of the Spanish flu.
In conclusion, it is difficult to find any signs that a life threatening pandemic is happening. Neither observing the daily life in cities (masks that should be considered dangerous medical waste litter the streets), nor by looking at the statistics.
How can this be? How can it be that a scientist warns for a fourth wave of covid-19, that will be “catastrophic”? 13 How can it be that a scientist calls those who do not vaccinate themselves “enemies of the people”?14 It is my personal opinion that a clear orientation about the current situation from a statistical point of view is an essential basis to analyze what is going on.
7 https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/218200/COVID-19-Pandemie-Historisch-niedrige-Bettenauslastung (“Demnach sank die Zahl der nach DRG abgerechneten Behandlungsfälle um 13 Prozent von 19,2 auf 16,8 Millionen Fälle”)
11 https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259893/WHO-WHE-IHM-GIP-2017.1- eng.pdf;jsessionid=FF0E44DE342CCEF9F0A31E1EFB14C8E8?sequence=1
13 https://www.rhoen-gesundheitsblog.de/astrazeneca-impfung-corona/ 14 https://i0.wp.com/sciencefiles.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Schwartmann-Privilegien-in-der-Pandemie-aufSocial-Media-posten_-Pro-und-Contra-_-web.de_-e1618321405436.png?ssl=1 The original has been edited, here an archived version