Here is a comparison of news headlines from the past week in 2020 and the headlines from a time in 2018 when mortality rates were peaking due to a bad flu season.

Make up your own mind. Do the headlines reflect the gravity of the situations in an equivalent way - or is additional fear being stirred up in 2020?

Here is an image of headlines, all gathered from the in the previous seven days.


The NHS reports that, at time of writing, 3,760, people have died from COVID-19 in the week ending 2020-04-10. In the latest week for which data is available for deaths from all causes (week-ending 2020-03-27) 10,602 people died from non-Covid related deaths.Compare these numbers with the respective numbers from 2018 below.

BBC News home page from 2018-01-12

2018 was a bad year for flu. Overall mortality peaked in the week ending 2018-01-12 when 15,050 people died (3,075 of them from flu/respiratory disease).

Here is the archived versions of the BBC News home page from the Friday of that week. Nowhere on the home page was there any mention of, or reference to flu or excess mortality.


BBC News home page from 2018-01-19

A week later the peak was passed but there were still 14,256 deaths in a single week (2,829 from flu/respiratory disease). Still the BBC News home page from the Friday of that week made no mention of or reference to flu or excess mortality of any kind.