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no, mortality at the start of 2020 is not lower than in previous years.

All that for this ? This is, in summary, the meaning ofan anti-containment post widely circulated on Facebook. Its author compares the 2020 mortality with the previous five years. Verdict: the number of deaths in France over the first three months of the year turns out, despite the epidemic, to be lower than that of the first quarters of past years, except 2016. As a comment, the author quips at the alleged seriousness of the pandemic, and is indignant at the disproportion of containment measures.

The data come from the INSEE website, and are indeed accurate. Do they allow us to question the impact of the Covid-19? Alas no. First, because these figures remain provisional. The statistical feedback from 2020, and even from 2019, is not yet complete. Second, because there was no reason for mortality to be higher in January or February of this year, since the lethal impact of the epidemic did not start until mid-March.

Conversely, the figures used do not take into account the month of April, which was marked by an excess mortality, as shown by the European mortality monitoring site, responsible for measuring the excess number of deaths. Finally, and above all, this comparison, supposed to denounce confinement, suffers from a defect in logic. If the mortality figures in spring 2020 are not higher, it is precisely because the drastic measures of containment were taken from mid-March.

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