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There were No Excess Deaths in the Philippines in 2020. There were also No Excess deaths from Respiratory Illness, Even When Combined with C-19 Attributed Deaths.
Deaths from respiratory illness plummeted in March of 2020, just as Covid-19 Attributed Deaths started to rise. Shouldn't a pandemic have meant more deaths? Could this mean there was no pandemic?
There were no excess deaths in the Philippines in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. In fact, deaths were slightly lower than the previous year.
I did an evaluation of 2015 to 2020 Cause of Death Data by month, as provided by the Philippines Statistics Authority. I looked specifically at the 1-072 Category which covers Diseases of the Respiratory System including influenza, pneumonia, acute and chronic lower respiratory illness and other diseases of the respiratory system. Here is the data set out graphically. Note that in 2020 there is a 37% drop in deaths from respiratory illness; the drop only started in March of 2020! Lockdowns in Philippines started on 16 March 2020!
Where could those deaths have gone? Population deaths are typically pretty consistent from year to year. In 2020 there was a new category of deaths, which was deaths attributed to Covid-19 with both virus identified and virus not identified (assumed) categories. The data is presented below. If I add the Covid-19 deaths to the respiratory deaths, the plotted data is adjusted. Although there is an apparent spike in July and August, overall data for 2020 is still unexceptional!
There are no excess in deaths from combined covid-19 and respiratory illnesses in 2020 with combined deaths 5.6% lower than deaths from respiratory illness alone in 2019, and even lower than respiratory deaths in 2017 and 2018.
From this data it would appear that in 2020 typical population deaths from respiratory illness were far lower than usual, and the typical deaths that would have occured were migrated to be attributed to covid-19 illness.
Based on historical data I did a forecast on what level of deaths from respiratory illness should have been expected in 2020.
The respiratory illnesses in 2020 were not particularly severe! There were no excess deaths. There were no excess respiratory deaths, even when combined with covid-19 attributed deaths, which together were lower than the forecast, though within range at a combined deaths of 90,468.
Could this mean, retrospectively now looking back, that there was no pandemic? [Definition of pandemic was changed to mean cases only, not deaths. How opportune!]
Could this mean that the entire basis for the lockdowns in 2020 was not well founded, not medically based, not infection risk fatality based?
Given the devastation resulting from lockdowns (still ongoing, even a Level 1 or Level 2 Lockdown is still a lockdown) this question needs to be answered!