As Boris Johnson loves his World War 2 references, those who argue that the coronavirus crisis is not a big deal – an argument quite painful to those of us who have lost friends or relatives to it – or that the UK government has done a good job in containing it, so we should all rally round them – should consider the following.
There have been 117,000 deaths since January 31st last year in 380 days; giving a daily death rate of 308.
There were 449,700 total UK casualties in the 2,190 days of World War 2; giving a daily death rate of 205.
The comparison looks like this.
It has been pointed out that, if you take account of the increase in the UK population since the 1940s, the daily death rate per capita of those killed by Covid is about the same as all those killed by the Wehrmacht and Imperial Japanese armed forces between 1939 and 1945. It should not need saying that this is a pretty grim benchmark that no government should congratulate itself for presiding over.
It should also be stressed that British casualties per head of population in WW2 were low by comparison with other countries, just under 1% of the total, compared with 3-4% in China and 13% in the Soviet Union; while and our death rate from COVID is the third worst in the world. (1)
To stop this going on and on and on, we need a zero covid strategy to finish the job.