Here’s an ominous note on which to start 2022.
The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people.
“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”
. . .
Davison said the increase in deaths represents “huge, huge numbers,” and that’s it’s not elderly people who are dying, but “primarily working-age people 18 to 64” who are the employees of companies that have group life insurance plans through OneAmerica.
“And what we saw just in third quarter, we’re seeing it continue into fourth quarter, is that death rates are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic,” he said.
“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”
. . .
“What the data is showing to us is that the deaths that are being reported as COVID deaths greatly understate the actual death losses among working-age people from the pandemic. It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.”
He said at the same time, the company is seeing an “uptick” in disability claims, saying at first it was short-term disability claims, and now the increase is in long-term disability claims.
There’s more at the link.
I’m not a doctor, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I’ll advance three hypotheses for the increase in death rates:
- Many people were unable to obtain health care for other serious medical conditions (e.g. cancer, heart disease, etc.) during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, leading to increased death rates from those causes;
- The known dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines are having their effect, causing a surge in post-vaccination deaths (which will doubtless be ascribed to the illnesses caused or triggered by the vaccines, rather than the vaccines themselves);
- The enforced lockdowns, “fear propaganda” and social separation have affected those with mental health issues, exacerbating them and leading to a surge in medical consequences – up to and including self-neglect (leading to potentially lethal health issues) and suicide.
Those are my SWAGs (scientific wild-assed guesses), anyway. I suppose time will tell if I’m wrong – although the health authorities might not. These days, I trust health authorities to tell the truth just as much as I trust the sun to rise in the west and set in the east.
This is, of course, yet another symptom of the disintegration of our society. It’s not just a medical matter. It’s soul-deep. Why are none of those insurance executives asking, “Why is this happening? What factors in our society, that previously prevented this from happening, have been taken away, opening the floodgates to it? What new factors have been introduced to our society to encourage it? And why aren’t we doing something about it?”
Allow me to give you my perspective as a Christian pastor, an unfortunately all-too-widely-experienced man of the world, and one who’s seen societies in turmoil on three continents over several decades. What we’re seeing in America today is the culmination of many, many years of slow but steady encroachment on everything to do with traditional moral values, the rule of law, and the foundational principles of our society. Erase the Constitution and the rule of law, and the law becomes what someone says it means. There is no longer a firm, unyielding yardstick against which to measure that – and if you say it means something different, then you’d better be more powerful than the other guy, so you can make sure your perspective beats his (literally). When there are no values, the lack of values becomes a value in itself. If you’ll do anything to win – whatever it takes – you will win against someone who clings to values and won’t act against them, because you’ll go places and do things that he won’t.
We’re seeing precisely that outcome in the attitude of the Biden administration, the Democratic Party and the progressive left – and the oligarchs and extremists behind all three – to the rest of America. The increasing death rate is merely a symptom of that. The malaise, the rot, goes much, much deeper. The rot that is overtaking (has overtaken) our health care system is doing the same to an entire society. The death rate is merely a symptom of a far deeper and more corrosive cause.
I no longer worry about how to overturn and uproot that on a national level. I can’t, not as a single citizen, and there’s no prospect whatsoever that I ever will have that power. What I, as an individual, can do is to ensure that I live my life according to the principles I believe God sets out for us, and that our Founding Fathers laid down for us. I can choose to live in a community and among people who strive to do the same. I can insist that those principles be followed in my community, and take action, even strong action, if they’re not, because of those shared values. If others try to infiltrate our community who don’t share those values, we can do all in our power to keep them out, or convert them, whichever is most fruitful. (Note that this has nothing to do with race, creed, color, national origin, or anything else. See President Theodore Roosevelt on “hyphenated-Americans”. His words apply not just to national origin, but to color-Americans, ethnic-Americans and all the rest. Identity politics seeks to destroy his vision of unity as Americans, replacing it with insular, small-minded intolerance. Tragically, in many of our communities, it’s succeeded.) Together we, in our communities, can do our bit to make America real in our midst; and, perhaps, we can inspire others to take that seed out from our midst to plant it in other places, share it, nurture it, and help it to grow.
The solution to our problems begins at home, not in Washington D.C. So does the solution to the national death rate issue. What are we, individually and as communities, doing to deal with the underlying issues?