During the blitz, 43,000 civilians died, an average of 175 each day, a national trauma that is seared in Britain’s collective memory.
In the past 100 days, the number of reported excess deaths linked to Covid-19 – which England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, declares “the key metric” – has reached 65,700, a daily mortality rate far deadlier than the Nazi onslaught on British towns and cities between September 1940 and May 1941.
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Inevitable is a word that can be used to describe the tragic fact that families were always going to “lose loved ones before their time”, as the prime minister put it 11 days before he belatedly ordered a national lockdown.
It is not a word that can be used to describe one in every 1,000 members of the British public being killed by the virus in a three-month period, or what was at one point the second-worst deathrate on earth.