The deafening silence

Excess mortality. An actuarial phrase, if ever you wanted one. It means the number of people dying in excess of what would have happened if prior mortality trends had continued.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its latest excess mortality report. For the nine months to 30 September 2022, the number of deaths relative to the recent typical time periods was 16% more than normal. That is to say, there were 19,986 more deaths than typical for that 9 month period, based on population and mortality trends of recent times.

19,986 is quite surgically precise when it comes to national statistics. Let’s round it to 20,000. Gross it up from 9 months to 12: around 26,000 deaths more than usual per year.

That sounds like a lot. I would imagine that the Australian media, the scientific community, the medical profession, the undertakers’ associations, the municipal councils associations (graveyard plots planning division), the legal profession and the actuarial profession would all be investigating or calling loudly for investigations. Finally, I would expect the politicians to be demanding answers – what is going on?

I haven’t heard any such calls.