The chart above (click to zoom) is an updated view of registered deaths in England and Wales according to the ONS up to 26 June. The difference between the red and black lines (highlighted in yellow) indicates deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The red line shows that a spike in non-COVID-19 deaths also took place.
Sombre news, but the COVID-19 peak seems to have passed.
Edit 1: Updated chart for more recent data.
Edit 2: The Telegraph is expressing concern at the spike in non-COVID-19 deaths, which seems to reflect under-treatment of cancer and other serious diseases during the lockdown.
This is fascinating!
I read recently that the worldwide improvement in air quality since the lockdown has resulted in many saved lives, and wondering if that can be seen in this data… it doesn’t look like it to my untrained eye. It would be interesting to see the 2019 and 2020 deaths along with a line for AQI for each of those years.
Should the right end of the line for each year line up with the left end of the line for the next year? There seems to be a large discrepancy.
Also looking at common-mode behaviour over the different years, there’s a very clear peak in about week 2 each year, and consistent marked drops in deaths around week 22 and week 35 – do these correspond to particular holidays or events? I’m guessing week 22 is Easter, maybe? I would have expected more deaths in car accidents as people travel to see family for such holidays, but maybe that’s just a blip compared to fewer old people dying (maybe there is something healthy in Easter Egg chocolate after all? Or maybe it’s a reporting issue – are we looking at the actual date of death or at the date that the death went on some register, which might be delayed due to a public holiday)
It would be interesting to tease out influenza deaths as well as the coronavirus deaths. Also, to filter out deaths by homicide/suicide/accident and just include deaths from diseases (including cancers, heart failure, heart attack). The still-to-come data for the rest of 2020 and on into the 2021 flu season is going to be very interesting too.
There are some hiccups in the data during holiday periods, as some registrations get delayed to the next week. Also, the ONS datafiles don’t provide a breakdown of every cause of death.