In this terrible pandemic, news services have told us about how COVID 19 has affected China, Italy, France, Spain, the USA and Great Britain but who is talking about Belgium? Yes, Belgium. At this moment in time it is the worst hit country in the world.
Belgium has a population of 11.6 million. but it has lost 4,857 people which is 419 dead per million. So far my country has a death toll of 202 per million, the USA is at 104 fatalities per million and Italy is at 367 per million. Spain is just slightly behind Belgium with 413 dead per million.
Of course there are stories behind all the pandemic statistics. Some countries are better than others at collecting accurate data. While several countries are scrupulous about adding in deaths in the home or in homes for the elderly, other countries only record hospital deaths.
Behind some of the numbers there is political skulduggery and behind others there is simple incompetence. As a former British prime minister allegedly once said: "There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and statistics".
Nonetheless, the current numbers about Belgium are possibly correct. The situation may change but here on April 17th it is the worst affected country in the world. Spare a thought for the Belgians, for those who have already gone and the families who grieve.
LATER - Midday Friday. Updated Belgian statistics. 5163 deceased or 445 per million. If the same death rate was transferred to the USA, America's tally would now be 138,600.
The monster is very difficult for statistics. There are too many variables. Keep walking. Stay healthy.ReplyDelete
I had a nice walk yesterday in a big city park. No doubt I will be blogging about it.Delete
Belgium is a strange country, known mostly for chocolate, beer, Poirot, and moules/frites. It rarely gets mentioned for anything else; other than occasionally for it's royal family. Your info is news to me, but I suppose I'm a typical non-Belgian person.ReplyDelete
By that do you mean that you are an interesting guy?Delete
The company that I retired from has it's district office for Europe there. I had heard from my former co-workers that the pandemic was bad, and that the company had used it's own planes to ferry it's non-Brussels employees out of there. I'm really sorry to hear that they are being hit so hard. It's awful everywhere. Just some places are more awful than others.ReplyDelete
The current fear in Britain must be doubled in Belgium. Their hospitals and care homes must be under even greater pressure.Delete
I've not read or heard about Belgium in particular in connection with the pandemic and now wonder what the reason could be. Belgium is a small country, densely populated. But so is Singapore.ReplyDelete
Like you say, there are stories behind the statistics. Here in Germany, scientists keep reminding everybody that the numbers published for this country only show a very incomplete picture; the actual number of people infected could be 10 times as high as the known (and registered) cases. With the deaths statistics, apparently for the count it makes no difference whether a person has died OF the coronavirus or WITH it - meaning they could have died of other causes but were corona-positive.
No matter what, we all know that covid-19 is not to be taken lightly.
OF & WITH - sounds like splitting hairs to me. Poor Belgium. Poor every nation affected.Delete
Belgium has the slight disadvantage of being an essentially borderless country. It is probably one of the most important in many ways in Europe and probably the one that people know least about.ReplyDelete
With its former empire and its importance as a European hub for transport and politicking, perhaps we should not be surprised that it has been hit so hard.Delete
Didn't know the numbers were so bad there. I liked Belgium very much when I went for three 3-week periods on language exchange visits in the 1960s. The Charleroi at that time was a coal mining area very much like around Knottingley and Pontefract. Except they had trams, the most wonderful pre-war trams, and open air fairs where people could challenge boxers and wrestlers to a bout, and it was legal to drink beer in cafes when you were 15.ReplyDelete
Did you personally challenge any Belgian boxers? I expect you were better at hooking a duck or hoopla.Delete
Without any accurate statistics it is hard to compare, but whatever the true numbers, it is pretty horrific everywhere.ReplyDelete
There do not seem to be any level playingfields.Delete
Eddie Mercyx and Tintin are two more famous Belgians Mr Pudding.ReplyDelete
Please don't forget the most important and influential Belgian of them all - Pierre Culliford, also known by his artist name Peyo, who was the creator of “The Smurfs”. Where would we be without them?Delete
My husband played pro basketball in Belgium a long, long time ago. I don't even want to tell him this.ReplyDelete
Do you suppose that they are just keeping better statistics?
It could be that Ms Moon. Perhaps they are just telling the truth. It seems wrong that their plight is getting little international airtime.Delete
All this death weights heavy on my heart. It's not new. People die everyday but this is different. It affects all of us.ReplyDelete
It is so indiscriminate isn't it? Okay - it has mainly taken the elderly or those with underlying health problems but it has also taken young and healthy people. I see that Canada has now lost 1251 people or 33 in a million. Be scrupulous Lily.Delete
Are they including care homes? Because apparently UK stats don't include those, or deaths in the community. It's hard to get a handle on comparative death rates when different countries compile their stats in different ways.ReplyDelete
This may be anti-Belgian for me to say, but I wonder if people in Belgium tend to be older and/or less fit, and therefore more vulnerable to COVID-19. Seriously, I wonder also how demographics play into these stats from country to country.
It's all a bit of a minefield isn't it but I see no reason why the population of Belgium should be skewed towards the elderly Steve.Delete
Well, it's interesting. I looked into this a little bit. The average age in Belgium is 41.4, which at first glance doesn't SEEM high -- but that means a greater number of Belgians are more than halfway through their statistical lives. The average age in the UK is 40.5, in the USA 38.1, in Italy 45.5, in Spain 42.7. I really wonder if a population that skews older is a factor in all this. (Then again, Iran's average age is 30.3, and of course they've been hammered by COVID, so who knows.)Delete
(I say average, but technically they're median ages.)Delete
It is another factor that impacts upon the statistics but as your research proved - it doesn't explain Belgium's high toll.Delete
I read a report tonight about China revising their numbers. I love teaching my students about data. This is the article that I have saved to share with them. https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-wuhan-death-toll-number-raised-by-chinese-authorities/e06f5519-53e0-43ed-8603-125fa6be9b52ReplyDelete
I still don't believe anything coming out of China. But, as a digital technologies teacher, I was fascinated with how they claim they revised the numbers.
Thank you for highlighting the plight of Belgium, young Mr Pudding. Don't forget to acknowledge your sources before you submit your final essay.
Sorry Miss. It was Worldometer. And here Miss, I have brought you an apple. I mean a real apple - not a computer or an i-pad.Delete