Between the United Kingdom’s declaration of war on the German Reich in September 1939 and its surrender in May 1945, 61,000 civilians were killed by enemy actions in Great Britain, mainly in the so-called “Blitz” or air raids from June 1940 to May 1941. Despite the ridiculously low rates Official figures released in the past few weeks by the UK authorities estimate that around 65,000 people in the UK have died from contact with the Covid-19 pandemic in the first six months of 2020. And that this number is expected to increase as the year progresses. If we exclude the statistics for military casualties Britain suffered in the conflict with the Axis powers and instead look at just non-combatant deaths, it is almost certain that more Britons died prematurely in the last twenty-four weeks than during the entirety of World War II .
That’s an incredible statistic. However, it is one that the political and media classes in London, while not satisfied, certainly do not seem angry. With a few notable exceptions, there is an almost blasé response to all of this preventable mortality and the suffering and grief that result. The population of an average city in England disappeared in a matter of months, and many English, Welsh and Scots have reacted as if this were nothing more than a crazy slip in the ever-triumphant history of their extraordinary island nation. The desire to “get back to normal” creates an almost immediate form of collective amnesia in the British press and commentary. The debate continues on concerns about business and commerce, the opening of shops and schools, pubs and restaurants. from soccer games and music festivals, and putting the pandemic out of sight and mind.
At least until the next big wave of coronaviruses flood the UK in a few months.
That’s nearly 1 in 1,000 people who die, directly or indirectly, from coronavirus.
In England (not the North East) and Scotland, deaths are still above normal for the time of year
But they are returning to normal as this epidemic gets under control
– Chris Giles (@ChrisGiles_) June 23, 2020