Add Germany - Europe’s most populous nation - to the countries seeing unusually high all-cause mortality that is NOT Covid-related.
In September, Germany reported almost 78,000 deaths, more than 10 percent higher than the expected figure, German government demographers said earlier this week.
The 7,200 extra deaths are equal to about 30,000 additional monthly deaths in the United States.
The demographers noted that the rise was not caused by a sharp increase in Covid deaths. Fewer than 1,500 people died of Covid in Germany in September.
(Daily Covid deaths were very low in Germany in July and August and the first half of September. Like other European countries, Germany began mass Covid vaccinations relatively late compared to Britain or the United States; only 8 percent of Germans were fully vaccinated as of May 1. Thus Germany trailed the UK and US in entering the “happy vaccine valley” - the short period following the second vaccine dose when vaccinated people have peak protection against infection and transmission. But now vaccine protection is fading in Germany - just as it did months ago in Britain. Yesterday Germany reported 128 Covid deaths, the most in four months.)
Unlike Britain, Germany does not provide detailed near-real-time statistics on the causes of death. So it is impossible to know whether cardiac deaths, which have driven much of the recent increase in the United Kingdom, have played a similar role in Germany. But the German demographers noted that a similar increase appeared to occur across Europe in early September.
The recent increases in excess non-Covid-related mortality are particularly striking because epidemiologists and even Service Corporation International, the world’s largest for-profit funeral home operator, believed that deaths would fall notably as the epidemic ended. In many countries, the median age of death of Covid victims is over 80 (in Canada it is 84), and most victims had multiple comorbidities that left them with very short life expectancies at the time Sars-Cov-2 infected and killed them.
The comments below are from Service Corporation’s February 2021 earnings conference call, available at: https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcripts/2021/02/16/service-corporation-international-sci-q4-2020-earn/
And in the spring of 2021, the expectations of reduced post-Covid mortality seemed to be coming true.
Now, though, deaths are once again above normal - EVEN IF ALL COVID DEATHS ARE EXCLUDED.
It’s almost as if something that happened this year is pushing up population-wide mortality.
Could be anything, right?