“There is no delusional idea held by the mentally ill which cannot be exceeded in its absurdity by the conviction of fanatics, either individually or en masse”
— Alfred Hoche, psychiatrist
The rather garish chart for this post, larger version here, and data from here, shows weekly all cause mortality rates for 2020 for Western European countries where weekly data is available. The first and most obvious thing is the covid spring spike for half a dozen or so countries. Indeed, one country, Belgium, has had not one but three spikes, and as Lady Bracknell remarked to Dr No the other day, to have one spike is a misfortune, to have three looks like carelessness. But if these countries suffered misfortune, then it is also clear that the majority of countries did not have a spring spike, or if they did, it is lost in the background noise. It is also clear that after around Week 21, towards the end of May, all countries have hovered around normal levels of weekly all cause mortality, with, as expected, most showing a modest seasonal increase as the winter months arrive. All cause mortality in late November, the latest data available, is about where it was in early January.

Bear in mind this is deliberately all cause mortality, deliberately so because it removes all the fuss about the fit man run over by the Clapham omnibus who gets counted as a covid death because of a positive PCR test done twenty seven days before his accident. Not only does all cause mortality remove diagnostic fuss, it is also inherently robust — a death is a death and it gets recorded. Dr No’s logic is simple: if there is a covid epidemic that causes deaths, then these will appear as excess deaths, as a visible spike in the weekly series of all cause deaths. By the token, if there is no visible spike in the weekly series of all cause deaths, then there has been no epidemic of covid deaths. And yet, the majority of Western European governments, the main stream media and certain factions in the medical profession continue to scream blue murder over covid deaths, despite the all cause mortality figures clearly telling us that for most Western European countries, for most of 2020, it has been ‘situation normal’.

These observations do not make Dr No a covid denier. He can see that something happened in the Spring for a small number of countries, about one third of those charted, and covid is clearly the most likely explanation. Nor does he suggest that after the spring, covid entirely disappeared. Instead, it remained endemic, and no doubt caused some deaths, but these deaths were in people who were going to die anyway. They died, as they were always going to die, from their serious underlying conditions, only in 2020 the cause of deaths was underlying conditions plus covid, rather than underlying conditions plus, for instance, pneumonia. Recall the chart: there have been no excess deaths since the spring. Despite the media hysteria, Germany’s announcement yesterday of its highest ever daily count of covid deaths is of no consequence. Not only is it a daily count for one disease, and daily counts fluctuate wildly — which is why Dr No’s chart uses weekly all cause deaths — but more to the point, Germany did not have a Spring spike, meaning that the bar to reaching a highest ever daily count of covid deaths is set low. That the bar should have been reached yesterday is unremarkable. Having said all that, Dr No is aware that things may change, and that come the New year he may find he has to eat an unpalatable diet of his own words, but he remains firmly of the persuasion that, rather than prophesizing darkly about an unknown future, it is far better to rely on hard facts, even if they are lagged in time, because they are facts.      

So why all the media hysteria and government interference? Just as when the only tool you have at hand is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, so when the only stats you have at hand are covid stats, then everything starts to look like covid. Today, nine days before Christmas, there is much being made of rising cases, mutant viruses and the need to move yet more local authority areas into Tier 3. Yesterday, the British Medical and Health Service Journals have ganged up to publish a joint Cromwellian editorial, calling for Christmas be cancelled. The BMJ’s editor, Fiona Godlee, even turned up on WATO: you ho ho if you want to, the lady’s all for no ho ho. And yet, if we look at the UK line in the chart above, which includes deaths up to the 27th November, which is two weeks or so after the mid November peak in deaths reported on the governments corona dashboard, we see nothing remarkable. Yes, there is a slight recent rise in all cause deaths, but the line appears to have levelled off. The pattern is that of a normal seasonal rise in all cause mortality, not the beginnings of a surge in covid deaths that pushes all cause mortality to rise sharply.

Even at the best of times, delusions are tricky and slippery things. The current somewhat laconic DSM-5 definition is that delusions are “fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence”. But that misses out two other common if not essential features: the belief is usually false (but not always: you can correctly believe your partner is having an affair, but if you believe that not because an investigator showed you compelling evidence, but because the Martians told you by beaming radio waves into your head, then you are delusional) and the belief is not explained by social norms (this is to prevent for example bizarre but widely accepted religious beliefs from being classified as delusions). The essential features of a delusion are that it is rigidly held, even in the face evidence to the contrary, is not explained by social norms, and that the belief has come about through some abnormality of thought.

Psychiatry still has no idea what causes most delusions, and as a result there are many theories about their origin, some plausible, some improbable, and some that are frankly downright delusional. One of the more plausible theories involves both perceptual filtering (filtering what you see and hear) and cognitive filtering (filtering what you think), with the processes becoming self-reinforcing as the delusion beds in. Could it be that, after months of constant not just daily but hourly bombardment with all things covid, amounting to external perceptual and cognitive filtering, that not just individuals, but whole blocks of society have lost reason, and become deluded?

When all you ever hear about is covid, everything starts to look like covid. But tucked inside the usual definition of a delusion is that hesitant exclusion: ‘not explained by social norms’. If whole blocks of society now rigidly believe the Establishment covid narrative, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, then that means the beliefs, courtesy of the hesitant exclusion, are no longer delusional. The abnormal has become normal, and that can only mean one thing: the world has gone mad.  


  1. Ed P Reply

    At home I never watch the TV news, preferring to glean information from t’net. But I have been visiting my bedridden terminally-ill brother-in-law and he likes the TV on most of the time, with ‘news’ followed by yet more ‘news’. It’s truly appalling to see the distortions and exaggerations on the BBC, CH4, etc., with no calming or intelligent discussions, or any other point of view allowed. The same lies and half-truths are repeated on all channels ad infinitum, with no world events receiving any attention unless they too are about covid.
    I cannot believe people willingly delude themselves by watching this tripe. But they must, as there’s no other explanation for the sheep-like compliance with so many cruel and pointless ‘rules’.

  2. James Robinsn Reply

    “Power Without Responsibility: Press, Broadcasting and the Internet in Britain” by James Curran – a relevant title to the “bombardment [of all things Covid]” you highlight of. The media are much to blame for the entrenched position of many intelligent, usually rationally thinking people.

    It’s not just blinkeredness, but outright blindness!

    Without the steady middle ground being occupied to reasonably argue the case for and against, you are automatically considered a ‘Flat Earther’ should you hold views contrary to the dogma!

    Opinions and debate needs to be urgently broadened – questions from curious minds to reach a robust conclusion, rather than be treated as some kind of insubordinate fool.

  3. Tom Welsh Reply

    Quoting Dr Goebbels may seem rather hackneyed, but after all who knew more about such things?

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State”.

    – Dr Josef Goebbels http://bytwerk.com/gpa/falsenaziquotations.htm

    Of course, it is also true that Dr Goebbels openly admitted that he had learned most of his trade from Americans, notably Edward Bernays.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Well, if he didn’t say it publicly he probably thought it…

      I’d better stop commenting before I get a bad reputation!

  4. Annie Davenport Turner Reply

    Excellent, Dr No, thank you. I, and a few around me, are now as baffled as the majority are deluded. That they will state categorically that anything other than main stream information is a conspiracy theory, even though these last 6 months has seen the list of those theories ticked one by one, baffles me even more. Were these ‘blinded’ able to live their weird life whilst I was able to live mine, fine, but I’m not, and that is beginning to do more than irritate. As Dan Astin-Gregory said on his podcast tonight, we are now in the place of seriously needing to act before this becomes ‘normal life’ for years to come. The thing is, as we know, when people don’t know – or wont see – they have a problem, it is impossible (with no ‘almost’ to it) to do anything about it. But we must; this is where I will use that god-awful phrase, ‘we are in unprecedented times’ in its truest sense; this time truly is unprecedented, and the future of our world pivots on what we do about it. Thank you for your hugely important input.

  5. Tish Farrell Reply

    And another big thank you from me too, Dr. No. There’s the double double bind, isn’t there, for those who see through the official narrative. Not only one’s argument with increasingly deluded and authoritarian authority, but also the fact that I, for one, feel increasingly isolated on my little viewing platform. There are impossible urges to bite off the heads of friends who subscribe to every herding tactic as if it were holy writ and who further dole out blame on anyone not complying. Those evil ‘THEY’ people. Every one of us on the planet has been transformed into bio-hazard.

    Also thinking back to March when I first came across the Swiss Doctor reports which included the Italian official health report on Covid 19. Back then the Italians said the majority of deaths were people in their 80s and 90s and with 2 and 3 comorbidities. They set out all the charts with all the chronic illnesses. And hasn’t this, broadly speaking, been what we’ve been seeing ever since – albeit with some further pockets of susceptibility amongst certain disadvantaged communities?

    And now UNICEF is stepping in to feed our malnourished children while billions have been wasted in pointless tests and unused kit! Truly the world has gone mad.

  6. dr-no Reply

    Tish and Annie – this worsening polarisation is a real problem, and it is part of the route towards authoritarianism, and we must resist it every stage. One important measure to use is a focus on facts. These are available (and Dr No’s latest post, just published makes use of a small but important set of them).

    Tom – when the url has falsenaziquotations in it, that might be a clue! But a very large number of well known quotations turn out to be dubious, as Dr No knows only too well from his researches. Even the Edmund Burke strapline on the old blog (“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”) is only attributed to Burke. Perhaps we tend to be lenient about these things when the attributed quote accords with what we believe the attributed person might have said, even if they didn’t actually say it.

    This appears to be the case with Goebbels and “repeat a lie often enough and loud enough”. The earliest attribution to Goebbels came in 1939, in a book titled The Mad Dog of Europe:

    “What was it Goebbels had said? ‘Repeat a lie often enough and loud enough and it will be accepted as the truth . . .'”

    The Mad Dog of Europe is a novel, but it does show, in a verifiable way, that at least one person, the author, believed it was the sort of thing Goebbels would say.

    James and Ed – an interesting article that takes in the role of the media in the swine flu pandemic can be found here (and thanks to Annie for putting it on her facebook page).

  7. John B Reply

    The only comfort I find in this article and the data and analysis therein, is it reassures me I have not gone mad and I’m not alone, albeit in a minority. Thank you for that Dr No.

  8. The Grim Reaper Reply

    So who has the juice to convince just about every world leader as well as most of the 8B people on the planet that Covid is the new ‘black death’?

    Who has the juice to control the MSM and social media narrative?

    And why would the leaders (and many medical experts) go along with this ‘sinister’ plan? Maybe it’s not so sinister?


    FT.com “The global economy was facing the worst collapse since the second world war as coronavirus began to strike in March, well before the height of the crisis, according to the latest Brookings-FT tracking index. “The index comes as the IMF prepares to hold virtual spring meetings this week, when it will release forecasts showing the deepest contraction for the global economy since the 1930s great depression.

    Note: auto sales were plummeting in China for many months prior to Covid — German industrial numbers (global canary in coal mine) were collapsing to 2009 levels in Q4 last year. The world has run on stimulus since 2008 but last year the CBs appeared to be pushing on multiple strings – GFC2.0 was imminent.

    Fed is sharply increasing the amount of help it is providing to the financial system (source) Banks did not trust each other. Similar situation when Lehman collapsed

    Shale boss says US has passed peak oil | Financial Times Conventional oil production peaked in 2005 – we then urgently began busting up rocks and steaming out the dregs. Shale peaked in 2019.

    Virologist Luc Montagnier – won the Nobel Prize for discovering the link between HIV/AIDS. In this Interview he insists Covid is man-made. HK University virologist makes the same claim.
    Summary In 2019 a second Perfect Storm was approaching – the CBs had been doing ‘whatever it takes’ for over a decade….

    Essentially nothing was off the table — throw the kitchen sink at pushing GFC2.0 into the future. In 2019 the CBs guns were blazing but the beast was not longer held at bay… they threw the kitchen sink and the beast laughed at them.

    What do you do when you are burning far more oil than you discover — and your efforts to offset the impact of expensive to produce oil push you to the edge of the cliff? You can accept your fate and allow the beast to shove you into the abyss…. Or you can take the ‘nuclear option’ and shut down as much of the economy as possible, preserve remaining oil and pump in trillions of dollars of life support to keep things feebly alive.

    Punchline: The problem global leaders face is that if you unleash the nuclear option without some sort of cover, the sheeple and the markets would be thrown into a panic and you risk blowing things up prematurely. So you need a cover for this — one that does not spook the masses – one that is big enough to justify such epic amounts of stimulus and extreme policies — and one that allows you to explain ‘this is just temporary – once this is gone — we will get back to normal’ A pandemic is the perfect cover.

    Oil Gluts – do NOT indicate we have found more oil. We just pumped what’s left too fast.
    End Game – in addition to being a cover for the above, Covid is also a very good way to keep 8 billion people in line as we hit the physical limits to growth and civilization collapses.

    The last thing anyone wants is a global Holodomor and extreme violence. We have seen how in Australia the police have used extreme measures against anyone daring to break the rules in Melbourne. In the Philippines the military patrols the streets.

    I believe that the masses are being conditioned to be fearful because fearful people look for direction from the authorities and will accept just about any edict if it is believed to be keeping them safe.

    Recommended Reading

    According to Rystad, the current resource replacement ratio for conventional resources is only 16 percent. In other words, only one barrel out of every six consumed is being replaced with new resources https://news.ihsmarkit.com/prviewer/release_only/slug/energy-conventional-discoveries-have-fallen-lowest-levels-70-years-major-rebound-unlik

    Oil Discovers collapsed even when oil was at $100+ https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/icbkDFACM4iA/v2/800x-1.png

    Shale boss says US has passed peak oil | Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/320d09cb-8f51-4103-87d7-0dd164e1fd25

  9. The Grim Reaper Reply

    For the truly curious, this is the most important research paper you will ever read. Someone needs to get this into a time capsule so that if another intelligent species makes it to earth, they can understand what happened to the humans


    The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of energy. But the critical relationship between energy production and the energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel


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