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Worst Opinion of the Week: Everyone Who Dies of Coronavirus Would Have Died Anyway!

The BBC News Twitter account published a strange thread this week interrogating how many people who have died from coronavirus "would have died anyway".
by NEO
03 April 2020, 12:36pm
NEO Worst opinion of the week coronavirus
Photo credit: Chris Bethell
Welcome to The Worst Take of the Week – a column in which NEO, AKA @MULLET_FAN_NEO, crowns the wildest hot take of the week.

Story: A national broadcaster is, in line with their sole purpose, attempting to keep the public informed about the rising death toll of the coronavirus in the UK.

Reasonable take: Hang on, why is a publicly-funded media body underplaying the devastating social impact the pandemic is going to have on people?

Brain rot: “If you look at the cold, hard numbers guys, this whole coronavirus thing doesn’t change a lot! Most of them lot will be dead anyway before we know it!” – BBC News.

We have found ourselves in the midst of a remorseless virus sweeping throughout Britain (no, not Toryism!), and the lives of the public are undergoing a fundamental reshaping beyond anything the country has experienced since – and I hate to bring this up because of how much Boomers enjoy comparing their lives to it but in this case it's true – the war. So in this time of significant importance, you would hope that our national broadcaster would be providing impartial scrutiny of the government’s handling of the pandemic, but you’d be massively mistaken for a cunt for doing so.

As the fatality toll rises daily, BBC News tweeted on Thursday that while the news of “more and more deaths is worrying for people across the UK”, it's also important to break down the data to see what “the figures really tell us”.

Deciding not to use their world-class resources to scrutinise “the figures” behind a how a super-consortium of multi-billion pound businesses have only produced 30 new ventilators this week for the NHS, the thread instead critiqued the significance of the COVID-19 fatality toll.

“Deaths being reported daily are hospital cases where a person dies with the coronavirus infection,” they write. Yes. Fair. An important fact to acknowledge. Sadly, they then went on to ponder, like Carrie Bradshaw chewing on the end of a pen: “But is the virus causing the death? It could be the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they die of something else.”

My first concern is why BBC News of recent feels the need to partake in the same right wing playbook of tin-foil hat denialism that has seen Andrew Neil blathering over the semantics of whether someone “died because of the coronavirus” or “died with the coronavirus”. It’s like arguing over who killed John Lennon: Mark David Chapman, or the gun? And then some other dickhead interjects and says, "Technically, he died from a heart attack!”

What purpose does medically minimising the coronavirus impact serve when people are finally beginning to properly observe social distancing? Look, we all miss the fucking pub. I’d love to go outside again without official fucking business to attend to, or having to justify wine as “essential” when I’m not French or Italian. I’m already forming a resentful relationship with my sourdough starter for its insistence on being fed and looked after each day.

If the coronavirus is managing to kill healthy NHS doctors and nurses with no underlying health conditions, it’s seems safe to say that if you have contracted the virus, and you’re dead, it probably played a contributing role. We don’t really need to have a “who * really* died from COVID-19” debate right now.

The thread went on to inform us that half a million people would have died by August in the UK if “no action was taken” by the government, and how it is “hoped social distancing will limit deaths to 20,000”. They then felt the need to remark that the statistic “doesn't mean 480,000 lives are being saved” and that “many people who die from COVID-19 would have died anyway.”

Is their new intern at the BBC running their social media accounts Michael fucking Gove?
At this point they should just fully immerse themselves and start asking the really big questions, like “is the moon causing the coronavirus to spread?" This nihilistic outlook of a virus decimating the population as only “delaying the inevitability of death” sounds like it was taken from some cunt with a Mudvayne tattoo’s MySpace page in 2004.

Is it too much to ask our publicly funded broadcaster to stop underplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus with cold, detached statistics by insinuating that the daily rising numbers of fatalities are made up of people who “would have died anyway”? Personally, I don’t think having an underlying health condition should automatically qualify you for premature death, but I must have missed the government announcement where asthma shifted from being something that stopped that ginger kid in your PE class taking part in orienteering to it making them an “expected fatality”.

Not to mention how irritating it is to see technocrats trivialising 20,000 deaths that are yet to even happen as if there isn’t a significant value between dying two weeks, six months months or three years from now. Social statistics are worthless in a human context, and that’s the thing about humans – whether they have underlying health conditions or not, they tend to want to live, and so do their families and friends. I mean, SPOILER ALERT: we're all going to die some day, you daft cunts.

We all like to have an idealised idea of how we would like to “go out”, and if it’s not in a blaze of glory proving all your haters wrong, it most certainly won’t be dying in large sterile makeshift tents surrounded by people in hazmat suits away from their homes and families like fucking E.T. We want to be surrounded by the people we love most when we pass, and the coronavirus denies this. The fact we're meant to take it in some sociopathic stride that people will not get to be with their friends or family at the end, or even have a conventional funeral that can so often be healing to the grieving process, is mindnumbing.

The BBC finally remonstrated that “nearly 10 percent of people aged 80 or over will die in the next year. The risk of them dying if infected with coronavirus is almost exactly the same. That does not mean there will be no extra deaths – but there will be a substantial overlap.”

I’m not sure whether some BBC commentator would bring the same sort of energy to the next Remembrance Day, interjecting – as politicians are laying wreaths of poppies at the Cenotaph – to point out that “we must remember that many of the soldiers would have died from the Spanish flu anyway”.

What really makes this tone of coverage sting, though, is how little the BBC has pushed back on any Tory decision making in the last ten years. They've been propping up successive fumbling Tory governments so uncritically, they don't even fucking care enough to ask basic questions in the interest of public health. In fact, when Victoria McDonald asked a “tricky” question worth answering to Health Minister Matt Hancock on Thursday like ‘how did YOU get tested when others are bing denied testing?’, the BBC just cut back to the studio before he was forced to respond. I'm sure there must be many other stories more important than briefing from the Health Secretary during a pandemic.

There is no genuine reason to pay a TV license if it’s only to fund a bunch of speak nothing to power lackey cunts acting as mouthpieces for the Government and the occasional wildlife documentary. If I wanted to pay £150 a year to have some twat tell me that my loved ones are going to die horrible deaths and there’s nothing I can do about it, I’d get an Xbox Live membership and play Grand Theft Auto Online.

@MULLET_FAN_NEO