A new report from the OECD has shown that the pandemic took life expectancy in the UK in 2020 back to 2010 levels. Life expectancy at birth dropped by one year from 81.4 to 80.4, a level last seen in 2009. In 2008 it was even lower at 79.8.
This has largely been reported as something shocking – “Pandemic wipes out decade of progress on improving life expectancy”, declares the Telegraph – but in fact what it really shows is how limited the impact of the pandemic has been.
Despite all the daily reports of deaths, the running total of over 165,000 Covid deaths, and the repeated lockdowns imposed to protect a health service ever on the brink of collapse, the country has experienced a mortality rate no worse than 2009. I don’t know about you, but I can remember 2009. I don’t recall any lockdowns and panicking, or coerced experimental medicine, or bodies piling up in the morgues. Yet it was a worse year for deaths than the great pandemic year of 2020. Let that sink in.
Why are we destroying people’s lives and livelihoods and dismantling our freedoms to avoid going back to 2009 levels of mortality? Are we that obsessed with extending life at all costs that we regard it as intolerable to return to mortality levels last seen around the time the current party of Government came to power?
The OECD analysis is in line with the analysis done in April by economist John Appleby writing in the BMJ. The chart below shows that age-standardised mortality in 2020 was lower than in 2008 and every year prior to it.
These are overall deaths, so include deaths due to the Government interventions, including missed medical care and deaths of distress and despair.
No doubt it is disappointing to see improvements in life expectancy set back by a decade, though the impact is unlikely to remain long term. But we have clearly lost all sense of perspective. UK life expectancy is still, despite the pandemic (and lockdowns) above 80 years old. Eighty. Is it really worth demolishing our freedoms and filling our lives with rules, restrictions and mandates over a disease that didn’t even manage to reduce average life expectancy below 80? That’s a question that answers itself.