Russia has emerged as the leader in mask-neglect and distancing. Apparently, this is the main factor in the record mortality of its citizens from the coronavirus

Table of contents:

Russia has emerged as the leader in mask-neglect and distancing. Apparently, this is the main factor in the record mortality of its citizens from the coronavirus
Russia has emerged as the leader in mask-neglect and distancing. Apparently, this is the main factor in the record mortality of its citizens from the coronavirus

German scientists analyzed the tendency of the inhabitants of eight countries to wear masks and observe antiquarian measures. The most "unwilling" were the citizens of the USA, Sweden, Poland and Russia, and the most inclined were the Germans, British, French and Spaniards. The researchers concluded that the lower the propensity, the higher the mortality rate. In our country, the real death rate from Covid-19 is several times higher than the official death rate from the headquarters, that is, in fact, the effect of neglecting masks and distance is probably more significant. We are looking into the details and how this is related to the failure of vaccination against coronavirus in Russia.


A year ago, Naked Science meant that it is difficult to reliably understand the effectiveness of masks (except by modeling), since it is difficult to collect honest primary data on them. You do not put an observer on each person wearing a mask, so that he looks, below the nose or above the one wears it, how tightly it fits, and so on. It remains only to take the respondents' word for it, and any research by the “polling method” is always less accurate than the “measurement method”.

Three German researchers from the Ruhr University in Bochum tried to rectify the situation by comparing the data obtained by the survey and more objective figures - mortality. To do this, they interviewed 7,586 residents of eight countries online, including 986 Russians. The rest are residents of the USA, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Spain and Poland. The respondents were asked how inclined they were to wear masks and follow social distancing measures and tactics to minimize visits to crowded places.

As you might have guessed in advance, the lowest figures were shown by the residents of Russia. Only 48.6% stated that they are strongly or very strongly inclined to comply with such measures. The diagram below shows that in Poland, Sweden and the United States there were also below average, but still much more than in our country.

In Germany, France, Spain and Great Britain, they turned out to be above average, among the British - 88%. It is clear that these percentages should be taken with skepticism, because talking about your commitment to something is one thing, but putting it into practice is quite another.

To find out to what extent the respondents' stated attitudes towards antikidny measures influenced survival, the authors of the work took the numbers of coronavirus mortality in their countries for the next three months. It should be noted here that they unfortunately took into account the deaths from the coronavirus.

The mistake of German scientists: why our official statistics on coronavirus are not good for anything

Our publication has repeatedly noted that the mortality rate from coronavirus in Russia is several times higher than it follows from the official statistics of the headquarters. To be more precise, it differs several times. In May-February 2020-2021, the excess death rate in our country amounted to 425 thousand people, which is much more than all its military losses after the Second World War. However, the official, "operative" mortality figures are only one hundred thousand.


This underestimation is due to the fact that we consider a person to have died from coronavirus if the cause of death was coronavirus pneumonia.However, the coronavirus, like influenza or malaria, in most cases kills a person not directly, but indirectly. Specifically, in the case of coronavirus, a sharp increase in the likelihood of heart attack and stroke, which in our statistics are recorded separately from the coronavirus. And even if the deceased has never had heart problems, and the test for covid is positive, in Russia he will be recorded as an ordinary core, and not at all a victim of an epidemic. In other countries, such an underestimation also happens, but there it is usually in the region of tens of percent - since there, with a positive test for coronavirus, not only those who died from covid pneumonia can be recorded as deaths from it.

Under such conditions, the only reliable indicator of coronavirus mortality in our country is excess mortality. That is, the difference between mortality in a given month in the pre-coronavirus year and in the coronavirus one. As we have already noted, antikidny measures in themselves do not lead to an increase in mortality (as well as a moderate economic recession - like what we had during the epidemic). German researchers did not know this, so their conclusions about our country are much softer than the harsh reality. And yet, they still came out very disturbing.

Mortality: the unwary and the devil will not save

The survey conducted by the Germans was made a very long time ago - by the beginning of the summer of 2020. By the end of August, they took the official figures on the increase in mortality from coronavirus. They were the lowest in the countries with the greatest propensity of the population to antiquarian measures. In France, for example, the growth was only 6, 3%, and in Russia - 264, 2%. We chose exactly the percentages, and not the absolute numbers of mortality, precisely for the above reason - due to the fact that the absolute numbers of coronavirus mortality are underestimated in our country by several times.


The researchers comment it this way: “It is striking that the increase in mortality in percentage in the four countries with the least propensity of the population to such measures averaged 81.3%. And in the four countries with the greatest propensity of the population to such measures - only 8, 4%”. The almost tenfold difference really hurts the eye.

The new work makes a major contribution to explaining the mysterious cross-country gaps in mortality, which have long been difficult to understand. Indeed, for a long time it was not clear why the mortality rate in the United States is so much higher than in a number of other Western countries, and in Russia it is higher than even in the United States.

Of course, the tendency of the population to comply with antiquarian measures is not the only significant factor. Apparently, the policy of the state is close in importance. For example, in Great Britain, despite the tendency of the population to masks and other things, the government has long and stubbornly refused general lockdowns - they abhorred the model of interaction between the state and society that is fashionable in this island state today. On the contrary, in the United States, the authorities - even under Trump, due to the independence of the governors who made decisions on lockdowns - acted largely differently. Therefore, according to the data available today, in the States there are 169 coronavirus deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants, and in the UK - 191.


In France and Spain, the situation is intermediate: the local authorities also made decisions on the lockdown very late and tried to remove them as soon as possible. Still, they were not as late as the British. Therefore, the Spanish coronavirus death rate is 162 people per hundred thousand inhabitants, and the French - 143 people.

Additional factors played an important role in Sweden and Poland. The Swedes have led (and are) a lifestyle with a very low level of social contacts, which largely reduced their vulnerability to the epidemic. They have only 133 coronavirus deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants. At the first stage, the Poles tried (and at first succeeded) to vigorously implement lockdowns - since March 2020 - even despite the skepticism of the population. However, apparently, the lack of support from the population still cannot be circumvented: over time, the actual severity of the restrictions has dropped.As a result, the Polish coronavirus death rate is 141 people per hundred thousand.

Our country stands out sharply against this background. Using excess mortality as a guideline for coronavirus, it can be argued that at least 290 people per hundred thousand died here from a new disease as of March 1, 2021. This is twice as much as in Sweden and one and a half times as much as in Great Britain. Even if the coronavirus figures for other countries are not entirely accurate - there are also mistakes in diagnostics - it can be safely argued that Russia is in one of the first places in the world for them. And it is guaranteed to be ahead of the other seven countries from the work of German researchers.

This situation, unique in its tragedy, seems to have developed from a combination of the least prone to antiquarian restrictions of the population and the least inclined to introduce lockdowns of the authorities. As we have already noted, using inaccurate coronavirus statistics, the leadership of our state, most likely, perceive the current epidemic to be several times weaker than it really is. Therefore, no one sees much sense in "tightening the screws" on coronavirus restrictions.

What does the new work say about the future of the coronavirus pandemic?

But these are all things of the past, and we are more interested in the future. It would seem, what relation to it can have the work of German scientists, although published this spring, but built on the figures of 2020? The most direct.

The fact is that mortality figures can change quickly, but the contents of the heads of residents of a particular country are very conservative. If the British in 2020 were the most inclined to comply with antiquarian measures, then they will perceive this threat the most today. If the Russians in 2020 did not care about the disease that destroyed hundreds of thousands of their lives, then almost certainly the same is the case now.


Today, the list of antikidny measures has been supplemented by the main one - vaccination. If someone did not see the point in masks and distancing, then why should he see him in the vaccine? Let us test this hypothesis on the rates of vaccination in the aforementioned eight countries. In Russia, this is 5.0% - although it was the first to deploy its own extremely effective anti-clot vaccine. In France, where an attempt to create its own vaccine has failed, 13.0% have already been vaccinated - through imports. In Germany, the figure is 11.5%. The same level in Poland, and in Spain - 11, 9%. The reason is quite simple: the EU countries decided that the availability of vaccination in them should be the same, and, as in any collective farm with equalization, everything ended up with mediocre success for everyone.

Why do we say "mediocre" if the successes of these countries (the proportion of the vaccinated population) are many times higher than ours? Because we can compare them with the USA, where 30.4% of the population are vaccinated. Or Great Britain, where 46, 1% of the population has already been vaccinated.

The successes of the British are logical and understandable - they managed to carry out Brexit. Therefore, the islanders obtained vaccines for themselves not according to the principles of the EU "collective farm", but themselves. Naturally, they did better: it is difficult for collective farms to overtake individual farmers with comparable initial data. In addition, if 88% of the British were positive about antikidny measures, then many of them will want to be vaccinated. And indeed: the share of those wishing to be vaccinated in the population of Foggy Albion is 1, 4 times higher than in Russia. Moreover, according to last year's research. And in our country, thanks to the "wonderful" work of the media, the share of those wishing to be vaccinated, as you know, is decreasing, not growing.


From all this follows such a forecast for 2021. Britain, Germany, France and Spain are mostly vaccinated. The United States will do this to a lesser extent - although now they are the leaders in terms of vaccination rates. The whole point is in the lack of inclination of their population to antiquarian measures - there is, accordingly, a large proportion of those who do not want to be vaccinated. In England, the coronavirus as a mass disease will practically disappear, in the rest of the Western countries its scale will become very moderate.

But with us everything will be completely different.Russia will offer all interested citizens to be vaccinated, but about half of the population will do it, no more. The rest will completely, almost without exception, get sick, and approximately 1% of them will die. That is, among our citizens who do not want to be vaccinated, there will be a total of 0.7 million dead. Some of them have already died - at a time when the vaccine was not available as it is now. Probably, among them, about 0.2 million died. That is, for the epidemic to fade, another half a million must die among the unvaccinated.

Then the total number of victims of the coronavirus, which we will see in excess mortality figures, is approximately 0.9 million people for our country.

At first glance, such a scenario looks terrible - the losses in the battles of the Civil War also amounted to 0.9 million. But in reality, things could be even worse. If a vaccine-resistant new strain of coronavirus develops among the unvaccinated, the overall mortality could be even higher than 0.9 million.

Popular by topic