excess mortality covid
Despite the clear evidence from America of states without restrictions experiencing no worse (and often better) outcomes than states with restrictions, the case for lockdowns continues to be pressed, with proponents pointing to the surges in France (which has just entered another lockdown) and across Europe, as well as in Brazil. But are things actually as bad as they're claimed by the lockdown zealots?

Europe's spring surge, which appears to be easing off now, has been driven in part by an increase in testing. France, for instance, has been spiking in positive cases.

france cases
But it is also ramping up testing.

france tests
The positive rate is therefore largely flat.

france positive
Covid deaths follow a similar pattern to positive cases, including the recent spike due to increased testing.

france deaths
However, overall deaths (from all causes) are currently below average, suggesting the Covid deaths are mostly expected deaths and France is currently experiencing a pseudo-epidemic created by over-testing (though no doubt there is real Covid in the hospitals putting pressure on ICUs, especially in Paris).

france excess
In Sweden, positive cases have been rising sharply since February.

sweden cases
However, so has testing, and the positive rate is flat.

sweden positive
ICU admissions had a bit of an upswing during the same period, but seem to be settling now.

sweden icu
However, deaths are flat.

sweden deaths
Furthermore, excess deaths (from all causes) are through the floor, hitting -18% in early March, and -8% as of March 14th.

sweden excess
'Cases' spiking but positivity flat, ICU admissions high but excess deaths negative. Smells like another pseudo-epidemic to me.

brazil deaths
Brazil, on the other hand, is definitely suffering from a real outbreak, with both high Covid deaths and excess deaths. However, it's a big country and it's worth bearing in mind that its Covid mortality rate is still behind the UK's.

brazil cases
Positive cases also appear to have levelled off in the last couple of weeks, suggesting it may not get much worse.