And other Covid news.
Week 2 of 2023 has seen a staggering amount of deaths in Scotland. 2,020 in fact, which is the highest level for decades. It is higher than any peak during the pandemic which saw peaks of 1,978 deaths in April 2020 and 1,720 deaths in January 2021. At that time, we had death figures on the TV 24/7. Lockdowns were brought in to cope with that amount of death. Heard any outcry about these latest death peaks on TV recently?
450 of the Scottish deaths are above the 5 year average, or 29% higher. And this is provisional data so will be revised upwards as always.
Scottish Unity looked at the data and, due to its volatility, produced an average of Scottish deaths over the Christmas period (weeks 51 - week 2). This Christmas is 14% higher than 2020/21.
Overall, in December there was a 10% increase in deaths and a 15.6% decrease in births.
Travel south to England and Wales and excess deaths in week 1, according to the ONS, are 14.1% higher than usual (1,847 excess deaths). However, they have recently changed how they calculate the five year average and now include 2021 and 2022, even though these were abnormal years. Danny Walker has used the previous way the ONS were calculating the five year average (using 2015-2019 data) and produced a table of excess death percentages.
This corroborates with the Scottish data giving England and Wales an excess death rate of 23.1% in week 1 or 2023. In fact most of 2022 looks pretty terrible.