Covid Factors


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August 8th 2021
Published: August 8th 2021
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I’ve just done some research into the median age of country populations round the world to see if there is a link between Covid and age. As is well known, elderly people are more susceptible to viral infections like Covid than younger people.

As of August 8th 2021, here is a selection of median ages (according to Worldometer) together with Covid death tolls (from The Guardian), country populations and death percentages:

Country / Median Age / Covid Deaths / Population / Percent Deaths against Population / Percent Deaths against Covid Cases

Vietnam / 32.5 / 3,016 / 98m / 0.003 / 1.6

China / 38.4 / 4,848 / 1,445m / 0.0003 / 4.9

Australia / 37.9 / 939 / 26m / 0.0036 / 2.6

US / 38.3 / 616,000 / 331m / 0.186 / 1.7

Brazil / 33.5 / 562,000 / 214m / 0.26 / 2.8

UK / 40.5 / 130,000 / 68m / 0.19 / 2.2

Finland / 43.1 / 804 / 5.6m / 0.0014 / 0.87

India / 28.4 / 427,000 / 1,395m / 0.03 / 1.3

Japan / 48.4 / 15,272 / 126m / 0.012 / 1.5

Tanzania / 18 / 21 / 62m / 0.00003

Kenya / 20 /4,088 / 55m / 0.0074

Ethiopia / 19 / 4,415 / 118m / 0.0037

Malawi / 18 / 1,776 / 20m / 0.0089

Firstly, the death tolls given above are official numbers. They may not be accurate because 1) the government may be deliberately falsifying the true death toll in order to spare itself embarrassment 2) there may be no way of counting deaths from Covid. The death toll for Tanzania is preposterously low for either or both of these reasons. The death toll in China, a communist country, is suspiciously low – probably for political reasons. The Indian death toll, considering India’s vast population, also looks low – perhaps because the government has no efficient way of counting Covid deaths.

The most credible figures are from First World democracies, so we should take seriously the death tolls from the UK, Finland, Australia, Japan and the US. Of these, the US has the largest percentage of deaths (0.186 per cent) against population. This may have something to do with the high median age of its population (38.3). However, if this is so, then why does Australia, which has a median age roughly the same as the US (37.9), have a much lower percentage of Covid deaths (0.0036 per cent)? And how come Japan and Finland, with their very high median ages (48.4, 43.1), have such low percentage death tolls compared to the US and the UK? Perhaps superior medical care partially explains Australia and Finland and Japan’s low death rates, but I I am not sure how their health services compare with those of other developed countries.

The picture is further muddied when one looks at the percentage of Covid deaths out of recorded cases. Australia has a surprisingly high percentage (2.6), higher than the US (1.7). China has a sky-high mortality rate of 4.9 per cent, whereas Finland’s mortality rate is tiny: 0.87. Medical care is surely a crucial factor in recovering from Covid but, if so, how does one explain Australia, which is supposed to have superior health care?

I suspect that good diet may be an important factor in not getting or not succumbing to Covid. I am sure the average Japanese or Vietnamese eats healthier food than the average American or Brit. Africans, too, eat far less unhealthy processed food than westerners do but, as I say, we cannot trust the death statistics issued by these Third World countries; to suggest that the low percentage of Covid deaths in Ethiopia stems from the Ethiopian diet coupled with the low median age would be, to say the least, speculative.

I wonder if there is such a thing as natural immunity to diseases like Covid? Are the Vietnamese a physically hardier race than the Americans or British? If so, is this genetic? Or do environmental factors play a role? For example, does the Vietnamese healthy diet of rice and vegetables make the Vietnamese more disease-resistant than overweight Westerners? If the number of deaths and recoveries in Vietnam has been truly reported, then I think there is a case for this.

In short, I don’t know how best to interpret the above statistics. I am not a scientist and so my conclusions are undoubtedly flawed. My last, and rather vague, word on the subject is this: the populations that tend to do best in the battle with Covid are those with good health care, a good diet and a low median age.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject.

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10th September 2021

The findings from a recent research complement well with your observations: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-10/poorer-australians-four-times-more-likely-to-die-of-covid-19/100448564

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