As the Omicron variant is forcing even the UK government to stop trying to pretend that its all over bar the shouting – and a weary populace starts to realise that “living with the virus” means living with it (and dying from it) forever – its worth looking at what happens when a country takes serious steps to eliminate the virus and contrast it with what’s happened here.
China has had a Zero Covid approach since the beginning and effectively eliminated domestic community transmission by summer 2020. As a result China’s total deaths per million to date are just 3.47. It can barely be seen on the graph. By contrast the UK has lost 2,179 people per million and the USA 2,409 people per million.
To put this more strongly, had China approached this pandemic with the same mix of business oriented fatalism spiced with lashing of denial that we have seen in the USA, and people had died at the same rate, their total deaths would not have been 4849 but 3, 372, 600. (per million death rate of 2409 X 1400, as China’s population is 1.4 billion).
Conversely, had the UK applied a Zero Covid strategy with the same effectiveness as China, we’d have lost just 226 people in the whole pandemic! (Per million death rate of 3.47 X 65, as the UK population is 65 million).
It is an absolute scandal that this is not drawn out by the media debate.