Before they ban exercise as well, maybe it’s time to count everyone who HASN’T died of COVID-19

It feels as though the government is building up to a full-on ban on being outdoors for any reason except queuing for food and medicine.

The excuse will be the rising death toll from coronavirus even though there are clear signs that new case numbers have peaked.

But how many people AREN’T being killed by the virus?

If you ran the pandemic to-date through ten thousand British residents you’d still have 9,990 left alive.

And of the 10 who died, seven and a half would have died anyway in a typical month from age, illness and accidents. Leaving just 2.5 deaths apparently due to the virus.

In Germany, COVID deaths so far are three per 10,000. There, the pandemic doesn’t even register amid the normal, everyday mortality you get a nation of 84 million.

Those numbers are worth remembering next time you see a media article clamouring for mandatory mask wearing or for the criminalisation of exercise as felonious misuse of fresh air and sunshine.

Dodgy death counts, BBC edition

WOEFUL is the best way to describe media coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s literally full of woe. Relentlessly focused on the numbers infected and allegedly killed by coronavirus.

It’s impossible to get a clear idea from media reports of how many people are dying FROM as opposed to WITH the virus.

The media’s death-counters move in mysterious ways that don’t require someone who dies to have had (a) a positive test or (b) COVID-10 symptoms before they lump them in with victims of the pandemic.

Case in point is this BBC News story, headlined “Coronavirus: Fifteen die at care home during pandemic”.

Fifteen residents at a care home have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Five of those who have died at Castletroy Residential Home in Luton have been confirmed as having Covid-19.

The home has 69 beds for elderly people with nursing or personal care needs.

The other 10 residents who died were not tested for coronavirus, a Public Heath England spokeswoman said.

A PHE statement said: “In occasions where some cases have already been tested positive in a care home, we do not advise testing of new cases as it will not change the public health management.”

It’s a great example of how “framing” a story in a particular way allows a putatively trustworthy outlet to get away with peddling distorted impressions.

The story doesn’t say 15 people died from COVID-19 at the home. But the headline: “Coronavirus: Fifteen die at care home during pandemic” deliberately frames the number in a way that gives the impression they were virus deaths.

Turn the facts around – 64 out of 69 people did not die from the virus – and they come across as a lot less woeful.