COVID-19 Action Group Blog

Welcome to the COVID-19 Action Group Blog, created by the Society's COVID-19 Action Group (CAG).

If you have any feedback or you are interested in information about contributing to the blog, please contact the Society.

Blogs:

Health service under pressure

 

Excess Mortality - Blog #8

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: February 2021

We all knew beforehand that the excesses of the festive period would cause a spike in COVID-19 infection. Nonetheless, the magnitude of the spike seen and the extent to which it has translated into increased hospitalisations and ultimately deaths is shocking. As individuals we must personally consider how our behaviour impacts COVID-19 prevalence, our health service and society as a whole. As actuaries we must consider to what extent this cause-and-effect pattern and the general ongoing uncertainty needs to be reflected in our day to day work.

In this post we present the results of our January 2021 analysis and reflect on the final month of a year that few are likely to forget. 

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Blog #7

Excess Mortality - Blog #7

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: January 2021

In this post we present the results of our December 2020 analysis and reflect on the final month of a year that few are likely to forget. 

Early December saw the easing of restrictions after a six-week period of lockdown, with a swift return to level 5 before the month had ended, in response to increasing infection rates. We examine the excess mortality during this period and consider the impact on the year-to-date results.

Our updated results are based on data from RIP.ie to January 1, 2021 and all data processing and analysis has been undertaken in line with the approach outlined in our earlier blogs.

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COVID Winter

 

Excess Mortality - Blog #6

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: December 2020

With winter setting in and “lockdown 2” being eased for the festive season, we expect to see an increasing number of COVID-19 cases over the coming weeks. Now is a good time to look at where we are and how things have changed over the year.

In our previous post, we considered excess mortality up to September 2020 when it appeared likely we were entering a second wave of infections and deaths. Since then, it has become clear that we are having a second wave, albeit less significant presumably because of public health measures which were introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 and have evolved since the onset of the virus. The Government response was swift with Ireland being the first EU country to re-enter full lockdown in October 2020. So how has all this impacted excess mortality?

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2nd Wave

Excess Mortality - Blog #5

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: October 2020

On 3 September, we hosted a panel discussion on excess mortality including Jon Flanagan from the CSO, Dr Gerard McCarthy from Maynooth University, Andrew Smith from University College Dublin and John Nolan from the Society’s COVID-19 excess mortality group. The event was a great success with excellent presentations all round and an engaging discussion between panel and participants. The session was recorded and can be found on actuview.

The excess mortality session touched on the impact of August data on our ongoing analysis. In this post we will present the full refresh of our previous analysis to include August and September data from RIP.ie. All data processing and analysis has been undertaken in line with the approach outlined in our earlier blogs.

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July COVID Blog

 

Excess Mortality - Blog #4

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: August 2020

In this post we refresh our previous analysis to include July data from RIP.ie. All data processing and analysis has been undertaken in line with the approach outlined in our earlier blogs.

While the July data shows an overall improvement in excess mortality, this is an ever-changing situation and the daily confirmed cases for the first week of August are more than double the average daily figures reported in July. Therefore, we need to continue to review our analysis and use this to help draw conclusions on the most up to date data.

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Review

Excess Mortality - Blog #3

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: July 2020

Life in Ireland has changed rapidly throughout 2020 as COVID-19 has spread throughout our island. The pace of change makes it essential that we keep reviewing our analysis of the situation. The conclusion that we drew a few weeks ago may not be the conclusion we would reach today.

In this post we refresh our previous analysis to include June data from RIP.ie. All data processing and analysis has been undertaken in line with the approach outlined in our earlier blogs.

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Gender diff 2

Excess Mortality - Blog #2

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published: June 2020

In this post, we ask ourselves whether there is any evidence of gender bias in the COVID-19 deaths in Ireland as has been reported in other jurisdictions. We have built on our work and that of various academics referenced in post #1 to analyse deaths by gender.

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Excess mortality image

 

Excess Mortality - Blog #1

COVID-19 Public Interest Subgroup

Date published:  June 2020

Every time you turn on the news or open a newspaper these days, there is talk about excess mortality in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. At this stage, most people are aware that excess mortality is the number of deaths over and above those we would normally expect to die in the period (based on historical averages). We have all seen the graphs showing how direct deaths from COVID-19 account for some, but not all, of the excess mortality across the globe but what is the picture at home in Ireland? How much excess mortality are we actually experiencing?  

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