Crazy epidemiology – For health reasons

News items are publicized for their preposterous or dramatic aspect, never for their pedagogical virtue. Only epidemiologists obsessed with numbers can try to squeeze out the facts.

After three years of abstinence in Korea, Halloween 2022 in Seoul generated so much jubilation that 154 young people aged 20 on average lost their lives. That is a loss of approximately 10,000 years/quality of life in this country where life expectancy is 83.5 years.

At the end of 2021, Asia, with an average of 120 deaths per million inhabitants (mMh), was less affected by Covid19 than Europe with 1800 mMh and the Americas, very severely affected, with 2700 mMh. At the end of 2022, the differential was the same with, however, a more marked increase in Asian countries, despite more drastic measures.

It is difficult to know how many lives have been saved by the various measures (confinement, masks and vaccines) taken in each country, because it is risky to assess what would have happened if we had not done what we did and conversely if we had done what we did not do. By cross-checking various data, it can be estimated that these measures have reduced the number of deaths by around 20%. Let’s accept this figure, since it is impossible to suggest better or worse.

Without minimizing this epidemic, at the risk of stoning, it must all the same be said that an average age of death greater than 80 years is a figure in favor of benignity.

South Korea has recorded 29,000 Covid-related deaths. Taking into account age, which pushes back life expectancy, but also the immune senescence of those killed by the epidemic, a rough calculation allows us to say that Korea has saved 15,000 quality-of-life years. The epidemiology is cruel since a single festive evening erased almost two years of health measures.

In the USA in 2022, the Covid killed around 200,000 equally old people. The measures may have saved 40,000, but the number of quality-of-life years gained is certainly lower, even negligible, in this country where life expectancy is only 76 years. During the same year, firearms killed 44,000 rather young people, causing the loss of at least 1,200,000 quality-of-life years. Still in the same country, fentanyl, prescribed for pain, killed 60,000 people, causing them to lose between 1.5 and two million quality-of-life years.

Epidemiologists are cold, amoral and apolitical calculators. That’s why we didn’t ask them for their opinion. If it had been done, they would have refrained from giving it to avoid stoning too. They might have suggested throwing parties during the lockdown or seeking a gun vaccine. Others would have burned the stocks of fentanyl without specifying that the pains are stronger in the event of confinement.

Proposals not only absurd, but still devoid of media appeal.


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