Sustained, as-yet unheard of excess mortality trend strikes Switzerland

The Tages-Anzeiger has a curious piece on the sustained excess mortality trend that has gripped Switzerland since the start of the year. The persistent slight elevation, which has never been seen before, has yielded 3,000 excess deaths through the end of August.

The same months in 2020 and 2021 also saw excess pandemic-related mortality, but substantially lower:

Particularly unusual is the duration of the trend. More than half of all weeks since the beginning of the year have tallied more deaths than average, an as-yet unobserved phenomenon. Official Corona deaths add up to a mere 1,100, and we know that in the era of Omicron, at least half of those are likely to be incidental. It’s obviously not the virus that’s killing these people. The preferred Science explanation is that a substantial portion of these deaths are “heat-related” and that these are the unfortunate consequences of climate change. In truth, the summer heat has been vastly overplayed by a press eager to transition back to climate-change narratives, and Swiss heat deaths even in record-setting years, like 2003, don’t break the 1,000 mark.

The Swiss healthcare system is also under considerable pressure, and here too nobody knows the reason. Doctors first noticed the trend in March:

Until now, such scenes like this only happened in other countries: People who visit a doctor’s office are sent home due to capacity reasons or have to wait for hours. This week, sick people were faced with closed doors at the Permanence-Practice on the Marktplatz in Oerlikon. A notice said: “Due to high workload, we are unfortunately unable to accept any more patients today.”

This is by no means an isolated case in Switzerland. Axel Rowedder, specialist for internal medicine and head of the Medix clinics in Basel and Pratteln, has also had to briefly close his walk-in practices a few times this summer. “The congestion in the outpatient sector is massive. In Pratteln or at the Basel train station we have waiting times of up to four hours, sometimes even longer” …

Why are so many people suddenly ill? Where are all the patients coming from? “If we only knew,” says [Esther] Wiesendanger [another clinic administrator]. “I have the feeling that more people are sick and also more often.” But she won’t speculate on the reasons. Since March, the pressure has increased noticeably. About a third of the patients currently visit the practice because of Covid and other respiratory symptoms, in addition to sprains, cuts, wasp stings, back pain, bladder infections, gastrointestinal diseases and much more.

At the Biel hospital centre, the emergency ward has also been pushed to its limits for weeks. “We have no idea where all these patients are suddenly coming from,” says hospital director Kristian Schneider … Nothing stands out in the reasons for admission. “It’s possible that these are still after-effects of the pandemic,” says Schneider.

A great deal of research that shows that after a Covid infection, the risk of developing multiple sequelae and complications is increased – for months. There are also isolated studies showing that a Corona infection can permanently weaken the immune system. To what extent this longer-term disease burden caused by SARS-CoV-2 contributes to the current overload of practices after the two violent Omicron waves in winter and spring remains unclear. In any case, Covid is not making the population healthier. It is also unclear what role infections prevented by Corona protection measures and now caught up on play. Another explanation given by some doctors: The population has become more fearful or health-conscious as a result of the pandemic and seeks medical attention more quickly when they have complaints.

The reason must be anything but hastily developed garbage pharmaceutical products with a poor side-effect profile administered en masse, in multiple doses, to millions of people for no reason. Exotic theories about how the heatwaves are especially devastating for Long Covid victims, deliberate overstatement of Omicron-associated mortality, wasp stings – anything but the vaccines.