Sustained, As-Yet Unheard of Excess Mortality Trend Strikes Switzerland

Excess deaths in Switzlerand: The grey area represents expected mortality, above which deaths are classified as excess.

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 in deaths has never been seen before. In total, statisticians have counted 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” …

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