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How many lives are we actually saving

(283 Posts)
Baaaahhhhh Fri 03-Apr-20 08:31:07

An interesting read from the BBC, and a question that I have been wondering about since the ONS released figures last week.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51979654

Article talks about the effect of different scenarios on the number of excess deaths ie: over and above what would be expected, and versus other seasonal illnesses like normal flu.

OP’s posts: |
Gin96 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:33:17

I would like to know this?

PurpleDaisies Fri 03-Apr-20 08:35:59

That’s a really interesting read.

Gin96 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:36:52

Interesting article from the BBC

Reginabambina Fri 03-Apr-20 08:39:45

Very interesting, ultimately we’ll never know the answer to your question but we’ll be able to make estimates once we have the data for Coronavirus related stats and other deaths/hospital admissions. I don’t think we’ll get the full impact of what is happening now until a few years down the line at the very least though.

HasaDigaEebowai Fri 03-Apr-20 08:44:09

Probably not enough to justify the devastating impact on the economy and our lives for the next decade unfortunately.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 03-Apr-20 08:45:22

That's really interesting, particularly the section weighing up the benefits of lockdown against the way lockdown itself could cost lives.

divafever99 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:46:19

Very interesting read, thanks op. I'm under no illusion as to how serious the virus is but thousands of people die every day from cancer/heart disease/respiratory conditions and that is never on the news.

Gin96 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:47:46

@HasaDigaEebowai I agree, how long can you people’s lives on hold? Life must go on or what is the point of living. A couple of months is doable but after that the negatives out weigh the positives

Summertime2 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:48:50

The Office of National Statistics publishes weekly death rates. The most recent it published (week ending 20th March) showed 100 extra deaths that week compared the the average of the past 5 years. I will be keeping an eye on this - I think we need to be better aware of the cost vs benefits of the lockdown. We need to ask the difficult questions.

feelingdizzy Fri 03-Apr-20 08:50:28

Really informative article , thanks for sharing.

Porcupineinwaiting Fri 03-Apr-20 08:53:09

Other people's lives are never worth much when compared to the economy are they? I'm guessing that 'the negatives outweigh the positives ' only work on a population level, not so much when it's you or yours dying in a hospital corridor.

As to 'how many are saved', we wont know that til it's all over. But you can always do your bit - go out and catch it and join the herd.

Gin96 Fri 03-Apr-20 08:56:03

It’s not just the economy, lockdown will also cost lives the longer it goes on for, it’s not viable long term.

ArialAnna Fri 03-Apr-20 08:56:42

Thanks for posting - very interesting. I've been wondering at what point the damage caused by lockdown is greater than the damage it's trying to prevent, and that article seems to suggest that it's at the point of a 6.4% decline in the economy, which doesn't sound like a awful lot...

GlacindaTheTroll Fri 03-Apr-20 08:58:49

We'll never get to know how many would have died if we did not attempt to flatten the peak, the NHS was overwhelmed, and there was nomICU treatment for anyone with anything, cancer treatments were halted, operations, even emergency ones rationed. And the economy takes an even bigger hit because the breakdown is even worse as so many people are ill, and the food supply chain breaks down.

If the stats end up not much different from a typical year, then that's a major win.

BuffaloCauliflower Fri 03-Apr-20 08:59:58

The economic effects will be more devastating. Though I can see why people who’s loved ones are dying won’t want to see it that they likely would have died from something else within a year anyway.

Michaelbaubles Fri 03-Apr-20 09:00:08

I see lots of posts on here in “normal times” that include the phrase “if it saves just one life it’s worth it” - seems like one life is worth anything, but half a million aren’t worth much.

Abraid2 Fri 03-Apr-20 09:01:03

Porcupine

The economy isn’t some amorphous blob—it’s your job, my job, NHS funding, our children’s prospects.

ArialAnna Fri 03-Apr-20 09:04:04

I think you've misses the point Porcupine - the economy is people's lives. A extra death caused by suicide or a worseing heart condition, is no less valid or tragic than someone dying of coronavirus. Now obviously on a personal level we'd all like to go down the route that was more likely to protect our own near and dear, but that's no basis for making policy at a national level.

GrapefruitsAreNotTheOnlyFruit Fri 03-Apr-20 09:05:57

I am not sure though that deaths due to lack of routine operations and cancer treatment can be blamed on lockdown though. I mean with the virus in circulation in hospitals and in society in general how safe can it be to have chemotherapy which suppresses the immune system?

Dongdingdong Fri 03-Apr-20 09:06:19

I agree, how long can you people’s lives on hold? Life must go on or what is the point of living. A couple of months is doable but after that the negatives out weigh the positives

The problem is, it’s easy to say all that until it’s your relative seriously ill and hooked up to a ventilator. Then you might think differently!

crazydiamond222 Fri 03-Apr-20 09:08:06

The article presents a lot of important issues which are often glossed over in the media which focusses on sensationalist numbers.

I found it interesting to also read research that showed the number of lives saved due to less air pollution during the lockdown will outweigh those saved due to reduced infection spread.
www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2020/03/16/coronavirus-lockdown-may-have-saved-77000-lives-in-china-just-from-pollution-reduction/

The modelling which informs the governments'
decision making is highly complex with lots of variables that are subject to huge uncertainty. It is a bit like predicting what the weather will be like in a years time.

Porcupineinwaiting Fri 03-Apr-20 09:08:20

Ok but coronavirus is here. So you are comparing scenarios where it runs through the population unchecked, with one where we try and slow spread. Both scenarios will lead to suicides and people dying of heart conditions untreated wont they, esp the former I would think.

Gin96 Fri 03-Apr-20 09:10:33

People die everyday I'm afraid, nearly 600,000 in 2018, we all loose someone, even before coronvirus but life has to carry on or what’s the point of living?

Sounsociable Fri 03-Apr-20 09:12:30

It's impossible to do the what if we had lockdowned earlier/what if we hadnt lockdown at all comparisons but before the lockdown lots of people were jumping up and down shouting for a lockdown "because Boris put the economy before peoples lives".
Like ArielAnna says, the 2 are so closely linked it's almost impossible to choose a scenario that doesnt drastically affect both.
The words livelihood or doing something for a living.
The effect on the economy will cost lives, and cause a lot more people (children) to live in poverty.

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