No Pandemic Australia! – Covid-19 Is a Rare Disease but Cancer and Dementia Are Not

The Australian Department of Health (“ADH”) considers a disease or condition as rare if it affects fewer than 5 in 10,000 people (0.05%) within the general population.

Since the “pandemic” began up to June 2021, Australia have had 910 Covid deaths – 3.5 in 100,000 (0.0035%).  Significantly fewer than 5 in 10.000 (0.05%).  And so, by definition ADH considers Covid a rare disease.

In contrast, during the same period, at least 72,000 people have died from cancer and 22,000 from dementia.  Cancer and dementia are the two leading causes of death in Australia and, together, are responsible for 44% of deaths.

Covid Is a Rare Disease

ADH describes rare diseases as “life-threatening or chronically debilitating conditions that affect a small percentage of the population” and which affect “less than 5 in 10,000 people.”  With a population of 25,9 million, a rare disease would affect fewer than 12,900 people in Australia.

During the eighteen-month period January 2020 to June 2021, Covid-19 was the underlying cause of 857 deaths, as certified by a doctor.  At the end of June, ADH announced 910 Covid deaths and we can assume the difference is due to deaths referred by a coroner.  It is irrelevant which figure is used as both are evident of the rarity of the disease.

There are those who would say, “But death isn’t the only life-threatening or chronically debilitating indication of a disease. There are people who’ve been seriously ill in hospital or are suffering from Long Covid.”

In June, ABC reported on “one of the most extensive studies in the world on long Covid.”  The study found 80% recovered within a month, and just under 5% were still experiencing symptoms three months after their diagnosis.  In the same report, ABC claims “since the pandemic began, more than 30,000 Australians have been infected with Covid.”

If 30,000 were infected, all of whom went on to develop long Covid and 95% were symptom free within three months, then under 1,500 Australians – 0.005% of the population – may have, longer than three months, long Covid. Long Covid is rare.

Long Covid was not a newly discovered condition in 2020.  When assessing whether Covid or flu was more dangerous, Dr. Vernon Coleman explained: “Both flu and Covid-19 can leave patients with residual symptoms, of course: long flu and long Covid … Most people won’t be surprised to learn that the two disorders are pretty well identical in most significant ways, [except] the flu is more dangerous for healthy children than Covid-19.”

Dr. Vernon Coleman: Which is Officially More Dangerous: Covid-19 or the Flu?

Doctor Certified and Coroner Referred Deaths

Covid-19 was an underlying cause for 857 deaths from January 2020 to June 2021.  The doctor certified deaths, all causes, for the eighteen-month period totalled 213,140.  However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (“ABS”) notes: “This analysis does not include coroner referred deaths.”

Total deaths registered, including coroner referred deaths, can be found in another section of ABS’s website.  The latest release relates to data for 2020.  No data has yet been released for 2021.  ABS’s opening statement regarding total deaths raises some questions – “registered deaths in 2020, a decrease of 8,001 since 2019.”

For 2020 doctor certified deaths totalled 143,975 and total registered deaths were 161,300.  We can make a broad assumption that coroner referred deaths made-up the difference of 17,325.

Only doctor certified data provides details relating to deaths so we will use doctor certified deaths below.  But keep in mind that this data is understated by approximately 11% (17,325/161,300) for the year but specifics as to how these deaths are distributed – cause of death, age at death, date of death – is unknown.

The Peak of the “2020 Covid Pandemic”

In a previous article we wrote that except for a short period in 2020, *22 March to 12 April, the number of deaths due to all causes rarely ventured outside the usual high-low range for the previous five years – when they did the number was actually lower than the five-year average. *Correction: we previously stated 29 March but deaths began rising on 22 March.

Of the 143,975 annual deaths, 852 were recorded with Covid-19 as the underlying cause.  During the peak period, 22 March to 12 April, there were 1,028 more deaths than the preceding five-years’ average, with only 54 of them being labelled as Covid.

There were 397 more deaths than usual attributed to influenza, pneumonia and respiratory conditions in the four-week period.  However, the six-month total – which includes these weeks – reveals there were 55 fewer than usual.  Cancer, dementia and diabetes were the major contributors to the increase in deaths.

The age distribution of the increased deaths gives little qualitative information except that the majority of the increase in deaths occurred in those aged 65 years or older.

Covid, Cancer and Dementia

Covid lockdowns and restrictions have cost lives and livelihoods.  Could an increase in deaths caused by cancer and dementia be some of those costs?

Cancer accounts for around 3 in every 10 deaths in Australia. It has a major impact on individuals, families and the community.  In August 2020, medical professionals warned hundreds more Victorians were likely to die from cancer and serious illnesses due to fears about Covid-19 and Melbourne’s lockdown.

And in September 2021, The Sydney Morning Herald reported: “The number of cancer biopsies, scans and surgeries in Australia plummeted last year, sparking concerns that up to 20,000 cancers may have gone undiagnosed as extended lockdowns halt routine medical check-ups.”

Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65 and it is the second leading cause of death in Australia.  Dementia is a progressive disease – as cognitive abilities start to decline, so does the ability to stay healthy and well.   There are 12 recommendations for reducing risk for cognitive decline released by the World Health Organisation including: be physically active; cognitive training; be socially active; and, manage depression.

The Acting CEO of Dementia Australia warned: “If stimulus is reduced for people living with dementia the loss of cognitive function can escalate. Over time these are losses that most people will not be able to regain.”

People living with dementia, their families and carers told Dementia Australia that some residential aged care facilities have not offered appropriate alternatives to essential visits during the “Covid pandemic.”  This has resulted in poor physical and psychological outcomes for residents with dementia.

“Many people who are afflicted by the disease are likely to die from medical complications associated with having dementia, including infections and pneumonia,” said Dr. Emer MacSweeney, CEO and Medical Director of Re:Cognition Health.

How many people living with dementia or suffering with cancer have fallen victim to government Covid policies?  Perhaps dementia and cancer are the real pandemic? We do not know the answers but they are certainly two of the many hidden costs of lockdowns.

Whichever way we view the data, the ABS and ADH confirms that Covid-19 is, and always has been, rare.  A rare disease cannot cause a pandemic.  There never was a Covid pandemic in Australia but there may be an epidemic of dementia and cancer.  Australian authorities should hang their head in shame for obsessing about a rare disease to the detriment of the leading causes of death: dementia and cancer.

In the next article we will dig into the 2021 statistics a little more.  But once again, we expect to end up with more questions than answers.