The benefits of lockdown

I was recently looking at mortality statistics for England and Wales in 2019 and 2020. There’s been a lot of talk about excess mortality due to Covid, but there hasn’t been much discussion of mortality reduction. Given that Covid rarely caused serious symptoms — and hardly ever death — in young people, and given the high proportion of deaths due to accidents — particularly vehicular accidents — you might expect the lockdown to have reduced their overall mortality. And this is indeed what we see.

Mortality 20193959654151474416014090
Mortality 20203758694701651474416120
Relative % excess 2020-5.2-12.84.613.412.114.014.4
Force of mortality in 2019 and 2020, in deaths/100,000

Above age 45 we see a fairly consistent 13% increase in mortality from 2019 to 2020. But there was a 13% decrease in mortality among children under 15. Even in the newborn group there was a 5% decrease. In total there were 116 fewer deaths recorded in 2020 in the 1-14 age group compared with 2019, and 200 fewer deaths in the first year of life (of which about 70 may be attributed to a 3% decrease in the number of births).

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