Forget Brexit, the real Project Fear kicked off in March last year, with SPI-B’s infamous “The perceived level of personal threat [from covid–19] needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging”. Printed in bold in the original report, the directive launched a thousand messages that sailed freely past their intended target, the complacent, and went on to cause immense collateral damage among the timorous. Rained on day after day by this lurid torrent of “hard-hitting emotional messaging”, these nervous souls quickly became punch drunk, and lost the capacity for rational thought. Whole swathes of the population started to believe that covid–19 was a threat out of all proportion to any real risk. The extraordinary thing is they still believe covid–19 is a threat out of all proportion to any real risk. Let’s take a look at what happened.

By mid-July last year, there was already clear evidence of collateral damage from the runaway train that Project Fear had become. A question on “Perception vs reality – the impact of Covid-19” in a Kekst CNC poll, which subsequently got less proper attention than it should have after its findings were badly used — means used when medians better suited — and so inevitably abused, actually reveals (scroll down to Table 89) that about half of all Britons who gave an estimate reckoned covid had already killed about one percent of the GB population by mid-July. An eye-popping further just under a quarter (23%) reckoned covid–19 had killed ten percent or more of the population. These figures are patently absurd (10% or more would mean 6,000,000 deaths and counting, over ten times Fergie’s peak prediction, bodies everywhere etc) and yet people believed them. The actual figure in mid-July was around 41,000 deaths, or around 0.06% of the GB population. Three quarters of the population over-estimated the risk by at least one order of magnitude, and a significant minority, with almost a quarter, over-estimating the risk by two orders of magnitude.

For some reason — Dr No cannot imagine why — the percentage of deaths caused by covid question was dropped from subsequent surveys in the same series. The next survey of interest that contains a similar question was published in November last year. Commissioned by The Conservative Woman, it found that over half (52%) of those who expressed a view believed that covid was the biggest single cause of deaths in the UK in 2020. Given around 506,000 UK deaths in 2020 up to early November, that means these respondents believed — had they bothered to do some sums — that covid had caused at least 253,000 deaths, when it had in fact only caused around 50,000 deaths. Though no longer out by orders of magnitude, this is still a five fold over-estimate of the actual number of deaths. The runaway train of Project Fear might have slowed down a bit, but it was still flattening common sense and rational thought with impunity.

The most recent data comes from a later survey in the Kekst CNC Covid Opinion Tracker series. The percentage of the population killed by covid question may have gone, but there is a question that asks respondents to rate their concerns about the impacts of covid on their health, their family’s health, and the health of the country as a whole, with ratings of 8 – 10 out of 10 being described as ‘very concerned’. The percentages of people rating themselves as ‘very concerned’ has declined over time, but 39% (their own health), 54% (their family’s health) and 53% (country as a whole) still rate themselves at the ‘very concerned’ level. On the days the respondents were busy checking in their ‘very concerned’ levels (28th and 29th April), there were 14 and 13 UK deaths within 28 days of a positive test, and 108 and 100 admissions with covid. If we take ‘impact on health’ to be more than just getting (and getting over) covid, we have somewhere between 40 and 50% of respondents ‘very concerned’ about a daily risk of covid death of around 0.00002% and a daily risk of admission with covid of around 0.0002%. Perhaps fear of long covid makes up the shortfall — or perhaps the runaway train is still flattening common sense and rational thought, leaving half of the population have been scared witless over what is now, and was at the time of the survey, effectively a non-existent risk.

In the opening to this post, Dr No gave the SPI-B quote in full. Often the quote is shortened, by omitting “among those who are complacent”, to become “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased…using hard-hitting emotional messaging”. But that is to miss a large part of the whole point. SPI-B intended to hit “the complacent”, but as the data shows, it was not the complacent — who by and large have remained sceptical (rather than complacent) despite the “hard hitting emotional messaging” — but rather the ordinary man and woman who got hit by the runaway train messaging. In all the survey results reported above bar one, a majority, and sometimes a substantial majority, of respondents revealed they had been terrorised into witless and irrational fear by the runaway train of Project Fear.    

The mass injection of unjustified and irrational fear into the majority of its people by a Western government claiming to represent the ideals of liberal democracy raises great questions of national importance. Such techniques are more at home in the hands of dictators and despots. The moral evil of allowing Project Fear to become a runaway train is clear to see: what remains is the hard question of why the government, far from trying to slow and stop the runaway train, has relentlessly and vigorously kept its momentum alive.     


  1. Dave Reply

    The question now is how the government is going to reverse these attitudes or whether they’re even going to try. I read somewhere that 1 in 10 of our fellow citizens would like the lockdown rules to continue indefinitely so it’s not going to be easy to change their minds overnight.

  2. Ed P Reply

    The list of the ‘great and good’ on SPI-B is revealing – not too many virologists or epidemiologists there, but plenty of ‘jobs-for-the-boys-types’ producing hot air I imagine.
    We now have government by advisors who have advisors who have advisors, ad infinitum – not a recipe for quick and incisive policies and decisions.

  3. Charlie Reply

    The whole media approach to covid in younger people/children in particular has been like the travel agent poster in The Truman Show which says It Could Happen To You! as an aeroplane has its wing sheared off by lightning.

  4. Tish Farrell Reply

    Anyone else noticed the increasingly parallel media narratives of covid and climate alarmism, both, it could be suggested, fuelled by extreme scenarios derived from models rather than informed by observable reality. One might even imagine that some people’s lock-down zealotry has much to do with forcing us to change our ways forever, while making us thinks it’s our own choice. Caught like terror-struck rabbits in the headlights: soon we won’t know which way is up.

  5. John B Reply

    Next on the Project Fear list: Climagheddon. Make everyone afraid to use electricity, because in due course it is likely there won’t be any.

    If the political elite were prepared to destroy the World economy and people’s prosperity, hopes and lives to save the hospital system, imagine what they will do to ‘save the Planet’. There are remarkable similarities, dodgy computer models, exaggerated predictions of doom, ‘the’ science, none of which supported by the actual data which is never shown, failure to learn from observation in real time, vested interests, money to be made, complete disregard for Human life, and lies, lies, lies.

    I am the first opinion the CoVid panicdemic was full dress rehearsed for climate lockdown.

  6. DevonshireDozer Reply

    The observations made by Tish Farrell & John B have also occurred to me – the parallels are astonishing. It also seems that the ‘gullibles’ falling for both narratives are often the same people. In both cases, their inability to question anything from first principles is zero. Their grasp of elementary science, mathematics and statistics is zero. Their ability to respond to a reasonable question in a coherent manner is . . . zero. Their enthusiasm for the narrative is, however, off the scale.

    Project Fear is obviously working & I despair for probably 85% of the people I know. It is depressing, but I am more bothered by the lack of rationality from the medical and educational establishments. They seem quite happy to continue playing this complex game of ‘Simon Says’ until kingdom come. Why? Every maths & science teacher in the land should have been calling out the nonsense for over a year now. Either they are incompetent or they have been bribed or coerced into admiring the Emperor’s new clothes – and encourage their students to do likewise.

    This morning, I took senior management (SM) to the doctors. It was our first experience of dealing with the NHS on our own account & at home since well before the days of COVID. Having phoned the surgery first thing, she was referred to the ‘on-line consultation web page’. That system is hopeless. Her symptoms & illness (of several days duration, with no improvement) were not listed in any way (I also double-checked for her). Back on the phone, the receptionist took a brief description & 30 minutes later SM received a phone call from a doctor. He summoned her for a face to face consultation within the hour. An excellent result and no complaints here!

    Arriving at the surgery, in very wet & windy conditions, we were advised to wait in the car until being summoned. After being beckoned, we had to put on masks, remove all but the most dangerous 0.1% of bacteria from our hands & shuffle in. I was only allowed in because SM couldn’t walk unaided.

    The nice young ‘trainee’ doctor we saw was a lovely young bloke, clearly from an islamic cultural background, with a huge unkempt beard – only partially hidden by a little mask and a big plastic apron. What is the effect of a big bushy beard behind a single use (really?) mask doing to his own risk of developing a respiratory disease. When his mentor came in to overview his student’s performance & complete the consultation, I had to leave because of ‘rules about the number of people in a room’. I was, however, allowed back in to help SM to the car.

    As we left, I remarked about the absurdity of it all & lack of any real justification for the masks, aprons, waste of real estate and so on. Both doctors agreed – but shrugged & said they “Have to follow the rules”. The late Dr. Semelweis keeps coming to mind. Perhaps modern medical people know of his treatment & don’t want to experience it for themselves. If so, what is cognitive dissonance doing to their own mental health? What is happening to ‘real science’?

    My impression is that doctors are not what they were. Instead of being educated practitioners, able to think for themselves & the welfare of their patients, they are now simply operatives in a system. Small cogs in a big machine, just doing what they are told. Is that the plan?

  7. dr-no Reply

    A reader has led Dr No to a Telegraph article (pay-walled, but there are ways and means, and the key quotes are available here and here) that he failed to discover before writing the post, and it is remarkable because it gives considerable insight into how and why SPI-B acted as they did. In a nutshell, access to power went to their heads, and they threw the moral compass out of the window. Some key quotes, all from SPI-B members (emphasis added):

    “In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.”

    “The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared.

    “You could call psychology ‘mind control’. That’s what we do…

    “People use the pandemic to grab power and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise… We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in”.

    “Without a vaccine, psychology is your main weapon… Psychology has had a really good epidemic, actually.

    “[I am] stunned by the weaponisation of behavioural psychology…psychologists didn’t seem to notice when it stopped being altruistic and became manipulative. They have too much power and it intoxicates them”.

  8. dr-no Reply

    Thank you all for your comments. Yes, agree, the prep run for the Big One is certainly possible. The observation that both threats are established using computer modelling is pertinent.

    Dave – Dr No was sticking to his one post one topic principle, in this case a great evil has been perpetrated, but without going on to the next obvious question, which is, as you say, how do we go about reversing it. As you also say, the omens are not good. Large numbers of people have internalised the fear so thickly that pulling it out of them might already be almost impossible.

    Ed P – Indeed. We might add some lines from Swift:

    So, Nat’ralists observe, a Flea
    Hath smaller Fleas that on him prey,
    And these have smaller yet to bite ’em,
    And so proceed ad infinitum

    The trouble is, the government fleas carry the seeds of terror.

    DevonshireDozer (corrected, so very sorry) – it is good to hear your practice delivered the goods today, despite compliance with nonsense guidelines. Dr No is pleased to be able to report that his GP operates a similar system (unless and until a poctor appears – see below).

    “My impression is that doctors are not what they were. Instead of being educated practitioners, able to think for themselves & the welfare of their patients, they are now simply operatives in a system. Small cogs in a big machine, just doing what they are told. Is that the plan?”

    This is the plan, and it has been the plan for quite some time. Substitute “Team members in a team” for “Small cogs in a big machine” and you start to get the picture. Being a team member, by putting a premium on being a team member, actively discourages ‘think[ing] for themselves”. Add in the dumbing down of medical education by MMC (Modernising Medical Careers), which came in about 15 years ago, and the almost ubiquitous introduction of pathways for clinical care (again, no need to think when you have a pathway) and we can see where it is all heading. Add in the rise of the noctor (a nurse pretending to be a doctor, rather than a welcome nurse practitioner) and then the rise of the poctor (a pharmacist pretending to be a doctor rather than a pharmacist), and it’s a wonder there are any doctors left at all.

    A short anecdote from not so long ago: after a very long spell under the care of a GP of a similar age, Dr No transferred to one of the younger partners after his past GP retired. Soon afterwards, he went to see this new GP about high blood pressure, which now needed treatment. The new GP insisted on putting Dr No on an older anti-hypertensive, because that is what the guidelines/pathways said. Dr No pointed out some relevant clinical factors, but got nowhere, and so politely asked to be transferred to one of the older GPs, who might better understand the ‘cantankerous ways of a curmudgeonly retired doctor’. The practice agreed without a murmur, and now Dr No is on the right anti-hypertensive for him, even if it is not the one decreed by the guidelines. The younger GP was a cog in a machine, the older GP thought for herself. We are going to miss these GPs terribly when they too retire.

  9. H W Tsudnim Reply

    A State of Fear by Laura Dodsworth published yesterday. I ordered mine as it is “out of stock” already, its all about Psy-ops and the SPI committee. She’s apparently researched the whole thing in detail and over time, but as usual Dr No your research is none too shabby (that’s a compliment from a misery-guts).
    I hope the book does well and is actually read by lazy BBC types (forlorn hope I know).

  10. dr-no Reply

    It is always piquing for a writer to discover after publishing something that another writer has done something bigger and better on the topic just days beforehand. One feels late, and at risk of charges of plagiarism. But Dr No did do this post independently, focusing on the rapid onset and persistence of fear as revealed in surveys, and perhaps the best thing to come out of the coincidence is the fact that two independent minds have been thinking on similar lines. The more of us that do that, and the more we keep the conversation alive, the sooner we might get the covid lemmings to take stock of their disastrous position.

    At the same time Dr No was writing this post, he also started another post on how and why the majority allow themselves to be hood-winked into a state of fear. For all the hand-wringing talk of authoritarianism and totalitarianism by SPI-B members after the event, the fact is there were no jack boots deployed in creating the dystopia (apart from some absurd police attempts to become brownshirts). The uncomfortable thought inevitably arises: what if the majority of the people, if not willing to welcome the dystopia, were at least willing to be complicit with it?

    Dr No is increasingly persuaded that when the history of the pandemic is written, the central theme will not be the mortality and morbidity caused by the virus, but the psychology of governments, and they people they ruled over, and the toxic consequences of the interactions between these two powerful forces.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      “The mass injection of unjustified and irrational fear into the majority of its people by a Western government claiming to represent the ideals of liberal democracy raises great questions of national importance”.

      The key word in your sentence quoted above is, in my view, “claiming”. There is a great deal of claiming going on – much of it quite unjustified.

      What we have seen in the past year constitutes, as far as I am concerned, a dramatic and convincing refutation of the whole idea of “liberal democracy”.

      Democracy claims (there we go again!) to give “the people” a say in government policies. A century ago, pioneers of propaganda and marketing like Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann were thinking – in very practical terms – about the problem of reconciling democracy with the stupidity, ignorance and stubbornness of the “bewildered herd”.

      They quickly reached the conclusion that elections and the rest of the democratic scenery were quite safe – as long as the herd was suitably indoctrinated first. Let them go to the polls as often as convenient, and express with their votes the ideas and wishes of their masters.

      In the last year we have seen the utter lack of resistance to brainwashing of the Great British Public. Clever and stupid, ignorant and knowledgeable, educated and uneducated – they have all accepted unquestioningly what they hear on the radio and TV, and read in the “papers” and magazines. The BBC must be telling the truth: why, The Guardian and The Times say the same thing! And of course at a time of national emergency, the government would never lie to us or do anything that was not in our best interests.

      It seems that the only people who have escaped, by and large, are those with the “awkward” temperament: the doubting Thomases, the sceptics, and the congenitally distrustful.

      While I’m ranting, may I also mention that past year has demonstrated that Parliament is purely ornamental? A year ago all the MPs ran – rather than walking – back to their homes and hid under their beds with their masks on, coming up for air occasionally when the BBC News was on.

      What difference did the absence of Parliament make? Absolutely none whatsoever.

  11. Tom Welsh Reply

    Excellent article, Dr No! (As usual).

    One nit to pick. You wrote “…it found that over half (52%) of those who expressed a view believed that covid was the biggest single cause of deaths in the UK in 2020. Given around 506,000 UK deaths in 2020 up to early November, that means these respondents believed — had they bothered to do some sums — that covid had caused at least 253,000 deaths, when it had in fact only caused around 50,000 deaths.

    If Covid had been the biggest single cause of deaths, it wouldn’t (necessarily) have caused half of all deaths. There might have been quite a number of significant contributor to the total, so that the biggest single cause might have been responsible for only (say) 30% or 20%.

    Just sayin’.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      Having written my previous comment, it occurred to me belatedly (as usual) that you have assumed that the official count of “Covid deaths” is reliable.

      Psychologically, that is very understandable. After all, how can one reason or argue at all, if one has nowhere solid to stand?

      In fact, however, it seems that the whole Covid morass defies logical analysis because there are virtually no solid, reliable facts and figures to work with.

      We don’t know:

      1. What the most usual symptoms of Covid are;
      2. How severe the average course of the disease is;
      3. How to detect the disease, either by conventional diagnosis or by tests;
      4. If someone is hospitalised or moved to ICU, whether the (main) cause is Covid;
      5. If someone dies, whether it is reasonable to say they died “of Covid” (rather than “with Covid”; when I die, of whatever, I shall probably die “with dandruff” but that probably won’t be the cause of death).

      On top of all these objective uncertainties, there is the fact that governments and their pals have been lying systematically in their teeth.

      So, while your analysis is welcome and convincing, it is still somewhat reminiscent of the question how many angels can congregate on the head of a pin.

      Which is to say that politicians, businesspeople and “the devil’s doctors and scientists” have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Not only have they fooled most of the people all the time; they have actually made it virtually impossible even to seek objective truth, by the simple means of destroying all the maps and turning all the signposts round.

      • Tom Welsh Reply

        And one more thing…!

        I said that governments have obfuscated, lied and deceived. They have also paid other people to lie for them. In the USA, hospitals and other institutions were paid as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars for EACH “Covid death” they reported. One cannot be sure what financial transactions went on within the CDC, but given that it is largely funded by Big Pharma, one may guess.

        Could that possibly procure some kind of exaggeration or false reporting? In some New York hospitals, it has been alleged – by doctors and nurses – that almost everyone supposedly suffering from “Covid” was mechanically ventilated, even though the doctors knew that most patients who were ventilated died.

        And every “Covid death” brought a rich reward.

  12. dr-no Reply

    Tom – the biggest single cause = 50% error – very fair point, thanks for pointing it out! Dr No guilty of most drivers think they are better than average type thinking. He will remember to do his sums in future…

    Certainly agree we don’t know how many true deaths from covid there have been, see posts passim, and that’s why Dr No prefers all cause mortality and excess deaths. In the UK, given hot stiff bias, and the way causes of death are coded (covid trumps everything else in Part I of the MCCD) , it seems very likely that covid deaths are over-represented, but we have no idea by how much (would need post mortem studies to get a better idea). But that’s the whole point: the devil’s doctors and scientists wanted to use alarming numbers of deaths to frighten the complacent, and then ended up terrifying the masses. Remember the WHO covid death coding instructions which there is every reason to suppose ONS follow:

    “With reference to section 4.2.3 of volume 2 of ICD-10, the purpose of mortality classification (coding) is to produce the most useful cause of death statistics possible. Thus, whether a [cause of death] sequence is listed as ‘rejected’ or ‘accepted’ may reflect interests of importance for public health rather than what is acceptable from a purely medical point of view. Therefore, always apply these instructions, whether they can be considered medically correct or not.”

    The aim is to produce ‘useful’ (to your purpose) stats. No need to bother with all that medically accurate nonsense round here, just pile ’em high, then keep on piling. It’s a carte blanche to produce not mortality statistics, but propaganda, which Dr No reluctantly has to conclude is what the covid deaths stats have become.

    • Tom Welsh Reply

      The whole syndrome of government disinformation leading to media panic causing the people to fear was nicely summed up by the great American journalist I. F. Stone:

      “All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out”.

      Stone also warned that:

      “If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell”.

    • dr-no Reply

      It appears possibly to be partly true. The key change is that CDC have changed from monitoring all breakthrough infections (including our old friend the asymptomatic test positive) to only serious breakthrough cases (hospitalisations and deaths). But they make it very clear they have done this, and so the previous data set (to the end of April) is obviously not comparable with current figures. Whether they have deliberately chosen to lose the milder cases to make breakthrough infection appear less common is a moot point (the claimed rationale is we need to focus on the serious cases). If this is smoke and mirrors, it is mostly smoke, covering up the numbers so we just don’t know, rather than generating lower case numbers in vaccinated folk (point is there are now no numbers, not lower – or indeed higher – numbers for all as opposed to serious breakthrough infections).

      The quote “For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, submit only specimens with Ct value ≤28 to CDC for sequencing. (Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values.)” is quoted out of context: it applies only to those samples intended for sequencing (hence the explanatory “Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values”). It is not a new case definition of a breakthrough case, which remains:

      “Defining a vaccine breakthrough infection: For the purpose of this surveillance, a vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.” Note that, as usual, there is no need for symptoms for a ‘specimen’ to become a case.

      Conclusion: CDC has decided to focus on the more serious breakthrough infections – not of itself an unreasonable thing to do. But in the process it has thrown away comprehensive data on all breakthrough cases – so we now have no way of knowing how many there are (and so can’t make any inferences about a number we don’t know). Given the numbers of reported breakthrough infections appear small, this seems rather a pointless saving of resources – unless, that is, it is ‘convenient’ all of a sudden not to know how many breakthrough infections you have. But they haven’t deliberately rigged the numbers, they’ve just thrown them away.

      The key CDC page is here.

      Edit 20:30 22/5/21: Added ‘possibly’ to the first sentence, because we don’t (yet) have a smoking gun, just more smoke and mirrors.

  13. dr-no Reply

    Tom – It is as well to remember that in Aristotle’s original description of the different types of government, democracy was considered a bad form of government. Some 2000 years later, Churchill famously refined this by adding “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” (sources and attributions: Churchill did say this, see Hansard, but note the phrasing: “it has been said”: he wasn’t claiming the thought as his own).

    Certainly parliament over the last few years has not covered itself in glory. The opposition has turned into Her Majesty’s Loyal Goons, the executive have decided there is no need to bother with all that debating in the chamber nonsense, we’ll just shut parliament down/rush things through (“it’s the emergency, dear boy”)/use SIs. One wonders whether Mr Churchill would today say that democracy is remains the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. He might, because it could still be true, all that has happened is that democracy has got even worse, but still not reached the pits of other bad forms of government. At least Dr No has not been silenced (yet)…

    “If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell”. Absolutely. A free press is an absolute requirement to ensure governments don’t lead their countries down the road to hell.

  14. John B Reply

    We don’t have democracy – never have except for the word. It is I suppose why we have variants social/liberal/Christian/representative/Parliamentary. They can’t be all the same can they? We even have Democratic Republics which is oxymoronic because republican and democratic government are quite different.

    Democracy: the original intent of this was that by distributing power throughout the people, it prevented power being concentrated to fall into the hands of one or a particular group, to get rid of tyranny. It was never meant to be used to elect temporary tyrannies, which could be swapped for another periodically. Tyranny is tyranny however long it lasts. And since there is a political cartel, the tyranny is a continuity, like Monarchy, with those running it on Buggins’s Turn rotation. The Tyranny is dead; long live the tyranny.

    Democracy is supposed to deal with issues raised at root level, not cooked up by those above, and dealt with by the population as a whole, so only administrative government is needed, the herd will hash out its own trade-offs.

    Democracy as we know it concentrates power in the hands of a few to be wielded over the rest – the exact opposite of its true intention.

  15. dr-no Reply

    carolyn_f – yes, definitely. A simple ‘discrete’ change of comparator, from the 2011-2020 average to 2019. As Dr No has pointed out before, the last few years have had exceptionally low mortality, which is why ONS etc use them as the baseline, to hype the pandemic, and 2019 was the lowest ever, so one can only assume the Actuaries have decided they too need to hype the epidemic.

    The choice of comparator is arbitrary. There are no absolute rules to say it has to be this or that. Instead we use common sense to decide what is a sensible comparator. On the basis that it was an exceptional year, 2019 is definitely not a sensible comparator.

    Some charts, the first two from earlier Dr No posts showing 2019’s low mortality, and then the before and after change of comparator versions of the Institute and Faculty of Acutaries (IFA)’s charts.

    Long term trends: the green line, which accounts for changes in population size and age distribution, is the one we are interested in. It reaches it’s lowest point in 2019:

    A closer look at the last two decades, this time by quarter. Again, 2019 shows as the year with the lowest mortality:

    The IFA chart using the earlier 2011-2020 average comparator (baseline), showing the cumulative standardised mortality at week 18 of 2021 is 1.1% above the comparator:

    The current IFA chart, using 2019 as the comparator (baseline), showing the cumulative standardised mortality to week 19 of 2021 is 4.6% above the comparator:

    What a difference a week makes!

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