In today’s Exponential Investor…
- The MSM strike again
- Real numbers, you decide
- Independent info is everything
I’ve seen a lot of Covid-related data this week. The mainstream media in particular is very happy to get on to the “Project Fear” bandwagon and reel off statistic after statistic.
For example, this from the Telegraph:
The number of deaths involving Covid-19 registered in England and Wales has risen for the sixth week in a row.
A total of 670 deaths registered in the week ending October 16 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
And this from The Guardian,
There were 670 Covid-19 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to 16 October, new data from the ONS revealed.
This is an increase of 53% on the previous week, when 438 deaths were reported, and indicates that the widespread rise in new coronavirus cases seen in recent months is leading to a rise in fatalities.
It means the number of deaths registered in England and Wales continues to double every fortnight, from 139 in the week ending 18 September, to 321 two weeks later, and 670 today.
Those numbers look scary. And a 53% increase! Holy Moses, that’s big.
However, I question who actually has looked at the numbers and done just a wee little bit more research into them.
These numbers, these statements look bad, but there’s far more to them than meets the eye…
Make your own conclusions
Using the exact same data these mainstream “news” organisations are referencing, here’s some things they haven’t pointed out:
- Total UK deaths week ending 19/10/2018: 9,864
- Total UK deaths week ending 18/10/2019: 10,156
- Total UK deaths week ending 16/10/2020: 10,534
Here I’m looking at the three previous corresponding years in terms of weekly deaths. Now this is total deaths. That means all Covid-19 cases, all cases from heart failure, natural causes, accident, cancer, whatever the cause.
There’s a tick up in total deaths year on year. But it’s roughly the same increase year on year between 2018 and 2019, around 3%.
To see around a 3% rise in total deaths for the week year on year is significant. But the question must also be, what caused the difference from 2018 to 2019? As far as we’re concerned nothing was going on then, and we certainly weren’t in the state we are now.
Now, with a little more analysis there’s some more information we can glean from these numbers.
Over those same weekly periods, here’s the breakdown of the demographics those weekly deaths represent:
- Total UK deaths week ending 19/10/2018, percentage of working age (15-65): 15.3%
- Total UK deaths week ending 18/10/2019, percentage of working age (15-65): 14.3%
- Total UK deaths week ending 16/10/2020, percentage of working age (15-65): 15.4%
This shows that of all the deaths in the UK (including Covid-19 this year) the numbers there are pretty consistent. A 0.1% difference in 2018 and 2020 indicates there’s absolutely no material difference to the working age population right now.
I will note, this is specifically looking at this exact time of the year.
However, this is hard data – not a conspiracy theory, not a guestimation. This is current data from the ONS over the last three years. I encourage you to go and look at the data yourself, it’s there for you and everyone to look at – you can find it via this link if you’re so inclined.
For good measure I’ll throw in the data for the week ending 22 October 2010. 2010 is as far back as these data sets go on the ONS page I was referencing. It also happens to be at the back end of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic that spread through 2009 and 2010.
- Total UK deaths week ending 15/10/2010: 9,218
- Total UK deaths week ending 15/10/2010, percentage of working age (15-65): 17.5%
Again, nothing made up here. No fake news. Just raw data and a bit of maths. What we see here is that the situation for the working age population in 2010 was materially worse compared to right now.
Yet, nothing was done.
In 2009 and 2010 there were no mass lockdowns. There was no prescription of compulsory mask wearing. There was no “work from home” directives. There was no travel bans. There was no intentional crippling of the economy.
What I’m saying is that right now, all the continuing and proposed restrictive covenants over your freedoms are massively excessive.
If you want to run by the data, then you have to seriously question why there are such excessive restrictions on anyone of working population age – that is anyone age between 15 and 65.
Why should any office be shut if we’re looking at the real numbers? Why should anyone be afraid of this under the age of 65?
Just to be very clear as well, there is no statistical change in death rates to children (under 15). Actually we know that Covid-19 simply doesn’t affect kids like older people.
The question you should be asking every elected official in the country is why there are such severe restrictions on anyone under age 65 right now?
Sorry to be “ageist” but when the world is trying to deal with a virus that very clearly affects people of certain ages more than others, then you have to be discriminant to protect those who most need protection.
Why bring this all up now (again)?
It’s not the first time I’ve dug into the available data to show you the truth of the numbers that continue to be put into the public.
I want to reiterate to you that you will not be given the full story by accepting the word of the mainstream. You will be given the story that’s going to get you to keep clicking back on their reports, so they can sell advertising space on their site and deliver you to partner organisations and collect your data to feed you more of the same thing.
Why trust me then? What’s my agenda?
I don’t have one. I want you to see these things for yourself through your own eyes and point you to the data that you can make your own conclusions from.
Sure, at some point I would like you to join me and subscribe to one of my investment newsletters. That’s how our business model at Southbank Investment Research works. We make our revenues from our paying subscribers.
We are solely paid by people like you who want our advice. It’s that simple. That also means we can be completely independent. It means there’s no “company line” here. There’s no “directive from above”. We are free to write what we like, how we like it.
It means if I think you need to look at the real statistics of Covid-19, then I’ll tell you what the numbers really say and point you to where you can find them.
The more independent you are in how you think, and where you get your information from, the better off you’ll be.
Right now with so much being thrown at you, trying to push you this way, pull you that way, it’s never been more important for you to take control of your information by the horns.
It’s never been more important for you to take control of your whole world. That’s the information you absorb, you access, you use to make decisions. They don’t even need to necessarily be investment decisions.
Clean and clear information, independent with no bias or agenda, is rare but crucial. Hopefully what I’ve shown you today just proves that it is out there though. A bit of time and effort to see the reality of it all isn’t that hard, and I think it’ll help you be far more effective in your life and your investments.
Editor, Exponential Investor