The Lombardy Analysis
Lombardy deaths in March 2020 reveal a pattern which seems difficult to explain by viral spread.
What happened in Lombardy in Spring 2020? Further analysis of Lombardy deaths in March 2020 reveal a pattern which seems difficult to explain by viral spread.
Please start by reading this thread, based on an essay Eugyppius wrote. This was based on a paper suggesting that the "pandemic" passed through Lombardy and was in decline BEFORE any evidence of excess deaths.
To investigate this further it is helpful to examine fine-grained death figures by region, preferably daily. Fortunately (and surprisingly) this data is available, at: https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/240401
A colleague in PANDA has extracted the data (no easy task due to the file formats) and built a tool to graph daily deaths by region and sub-region. The first thing to note (again) from this is the extreme synchronicity of the excess death curves, which begin in March.
This synchronicity is in itself surprising in the context of a "spreading" virus. The next thing to note is the height and sharpness of the peaks in deaths.
Homing in specifically on Bergamo:
Daily deaths usually bottom out at in the mid-20s in Summer, rising over Winter to mid-30s or 40, over a time period of several months.
In Spring 2020, daily deaths rose from 30 at the end of February to a peak of 336 just 3 weeks later. In percent terms:
This is over 1000% daily excess deaths (though "only" 800% if looking at weekly averages).
This extremely rapid rise and fall, to unprecedented levels, also seen synchronously elsewhere in Lombardy, does not look at all natural.
However, it does resemble another, non-viral incident. In 2003 there was a huge spike in elderly deaths in France, triggered by a heatwave.
That data is, btw, based on weekly numbers. The % excess stands out like a sore thumb. Yet it is only 80% - compared to 800% for Bergamo in March 2020. You can read more about the incident in the European Public Health Journal.
It was actually a national scandal since the conclusion was that most of the deaths could be attributed to neglect. The abstract makes interesting reading indeed.
It seems like the protective measures were largely common-sense "care" and those who didn't receive such care were at massively increased risk of dying. We need to think of the social care apparatus around the frail as their vital life-support system.
I suspect that in many places in Spring 2020, this life-support system was essentially switched off, or certainly substantially downgraded. What happened later is complicated by a number of other factors.
I don't think we are asking the right questions about Spring 2020 at all. Timing of "lockdown" is quite obviously a distraction from the core issue. But I also think natural vs lab origin is not the most pressing question to answer.
To me, the way "lab-leak" was initially verboten, yet now seems to be permissible to talk (and write) about has a smell of being “managed”.
If I imagine that the major part of the mortality had been caused by a variety of policy decisions I had made, the number one thing I'd want is for people to occupy themselves obsessing over the origin of the virus rather than the cause of the deaths.
Imagine that I was heavily involved in the "pandemic preparedness industry" - an industry siphoning billions out of the pockets of taxpayers into my chosen commercial interests. I wouldn’t be bothered about the origin story. Lab or natural - I can make a fortune either way.
What I would be bothered about though would be the idea that this was in fact nowhere near as harmful as the "authorities" told people it was. Because then people might question the need for my new highly profitable industry at all.
I could even tolerate people thinking it was a lab leak. If it was, people will be afraid that it could surely happen again. Because regardless of whatever controls are put in place, some rogue operators could always carelessly carry on doing GoF research.
So natural or lab-leak, as long as we keep the fear going, we surely need to be better "prepared". That's great for business. And great for justifying centralised control.
A more "zoomed out" version of this is: "A virus doesn't spread across thousands of kilometres within days and peaks at the same time."
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Thanks for this very interesting article. Regarding the synchronicity and timing I'd like to point you to "Questions for lockdown apologists" - https://medium.com/@JohnPospichal/questions-for-lockdown-apologists-32a9bbf2e247 - by John Pospichal. Published in May 2020, I found this quite intriguing (including the comments and John's replies).
Denis Rancourt, a Canadian researcher in Ontario, had suggested (June '20) that the synchronicity of the excess deaths was due to the governmental response to the pandemic announcement from Dr Tedros.