Why do they need so many deaths?

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By OTAVIANO HELENE*

Would it be to implement the political, economic, cultural (?) and moral (better, immoral) project that today, like COVID, suffocates the country?

The growth in the number of deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil throughout the month of March 2021 is impressive: about 3% a day, something close to 20% a week! Until the last days of the month, there is no indication that the growth rate is subsiding; on the contrary, not only has the death toll been increasing each day, but it has increased more and more rapidly throughout the month. As this is a characteristic of the beginning of each new outbreak, or new wave, as it is called, one conclusion is possible: the current outbreak is in its beginning. If this assessment is correct, we should still expect the increase in the number of deaths per day to start to slow down, reach a peak and then start to decline, until the current outbreak is over.

The figure below illustrates the situation of deaths from COVID in Brazil between the beginning of April 2020 and the end of March this year. The small circles show the number of deaths each day, with the data being seasonally adjusted according to the days of the week.[1] The solid line is the result of fitting a behavioral model of the variation in the number of deaths in the long term, serving to guide the eyes.

Maintaining the current situation, in the second week of April the daily number of deaths could have reached four thousand, reaching five thousand in the second half of the month. Let's hope that such prediction is wrong, although, for now, nothing indicates this.

How long the current outbreak will last is difficult to predict. However, compared to other outbreaks in Brazil and other countries, it is possible that the growth phase will still last for many days and remain high for a period of several weeks. For example, outbreaks that started last December in several countries lasted about 3 to 4 months, with a more intense period in the number of daily deaths of the order of two months, even in countries that combined strict confinements and movement restrictions with wide application of vaccines.

In Brazil, the most intense period of the first outbreak in the number of deaths, in the first half of 2020, lasted three or four months, a duration that is quite typical in populous countries such as the USA, India, Russia, among others (with the notable exception of China).

Therefore, if such rules are maintained – and nothing indicates that this will not be the case –, the outbreak that has hit us since the beginning of March could lead to the loss of a few hundred thousand lives; throughout the month of March, 60 lives have already passed away. This will make us the country with the highest number of deaths and possibly among the countries with the highest death rates relative to population.

Compared to the average number of deaths in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, relativized for the size of the populations, the additional loss of life in Brazil so far has been around 140. When we take all the countries of the world as a reference, the additional loss of life was around 250 thousand lives. If Brazil had opted for the procedures typically adopted by other countries, hundreds of thousands of people would not have died.

And our governments (governments?) were warned of this outbreak that suffocates and kills us right now: they knew that deaths would reach current levels and they have a way of knowing how they will evolve in the coming months with much more precision than the values ​​estimated in this small article .

Why so many deaths? Would they be necessary to implement the political, economic, cultural (?) and moral (better, immoral) project that today, like COVID, suffocates the country? Why do they need us to die?

*Octavian Helene is a senior professor at the Institute of Physics at USP, former president of Adusp and INEP. Author, among other books, of A Diagnosis of Brazilian Education and its Financing (Associated Authors).

Note


[1] Deseasonalization was carried out by systematically observing the daily variation, over a week, in the reported data. On Sundays and Mondays, the numbers of deaths are lower than expected values; between Tuesdays and Fridays, the data are higher. Possibly, such systematic means that deaths that occurred but were not registered in a period are registered later. The seasonal adjustment factors calculated based on the systematics of the analyzed period, by which the data reported between Sunday and Saturday must be multiplied, are 1,79, 1,61, 0,80, 0,81, 0,81, 0,92, 1.00 and XNUMX. Such deseasonalization, like any other, is not exact, as it does not include variations caused by factors not considered (such as holidays during weekdays, for example).

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