Uncertainty about the state and its reactions connected to the pandemic, as well as the state of public services, which since decades is unsatisfactory, are all sufficient grounds to protest. It has already happened in Serbia, where all restrictions were lifted last month. The epidemiological situation deteriorated quickly, but slow enough to hold elections, boycotted by the liberal opposition, which led to power consolidation of the EU-supported neoliberal populist Aleksandar Vučić.
News about the pandemic may be very contradictory. We know that local outbreaks may have a very dramatic impact, as it was the case in Serbian Novi Pazar or Polish industrial region of Silesia. On the other hand, it is a well-known fact that up-to-date the COVID19 epidemic has a less severe course in Eastern European countries. There are many speculations about the reasons, various experts quoting early introduction of the lockdown and lower social mobility.
Statistics on COVID19 are prone to error, not due to any conspiracy, but because of varying methodologies of testing and counting victims. What without any doubt illustrates the dramatic course of the pandemic in the West very well, is the statistics on mortality in general, prepared by the excellent EuroMOMO initiative.
What stayed slightly out of sight of such studies, was the situation in the non-EU Balkan countries. I gathered official data on mortality in these countries, including some other for comparison. The numbers were available in various statistical publications . For the sake of comparison, I have counted 2014-2020 mean and compared it with the values for 2020. The results are presented below.
|Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina||-13,59%||0,32%||-11,49%||7,97%|
|England & Wales||-0,07%||-6,17%||2,83%||70,68%||18,78%|
As we can see, the numbers prove the fact that the Western European countries were far more struck with the disease. The figures for the Balkan countries are more or less similar to those from other Eastern European countries. However, the most current massive outbreaks in Serbia should be a reminder that resigning from any precautions may have serious consequences.
On the other hand, given that precautionary measures have been relaxed in many other countries, it seems to be unreasonable to blame the Serbian society for irresponsibility. One can only speculate about possible serious failures of public health survellance. At the moment, there only remains some slight hope that confirmed causes of new outbreak will be brought to light soon, although nothing is sure in the current tense political climate.
- HR: https://www.dzs.hr/Hrv_Eng/Pokazatelji/MSI%20STANOVNISTVO.xlsx
- BA: http://fzs.ba/index.php/publikacije/saopcenjapriopcenja/stanovnistvo-i-registar/
- MK: Mesečen statistički izveštaj, http://www.stat.gov.mk/PublikaciiPoOblasti.aspx
- ME: Mjesečni statistički pregled, https://www.monstat.org/cg/publikacije_page.php?id=1735
- RS: https://www.stat.gov.rs/media/5219/prethodni-rezultati-_2019_2020-zivorodjeni-umrli-po-regionima-maj.xlsx, Mesečni statistički bilten, decembar 2019-2014, https://www.stat.gov.rs/sr-latn/oblasti/stanovnistvo/
- SI: https://pxweb.stat.si, Umrli po mesecih, Slovenija, 1960 in od 1977 naprej, letno, https://www.celje.info/aktualno/umrljivost-v-casu-pandemije-nizja-kot-v-enakem-obdobju-lani/
- CZ: https://www.czso.cz/documents/10180/121739330/obycr061220_1.xlsx/0753d785-93c6-4ef1-8acc-76859033d1b0?version=1.0, https://www.czso.cz/csu/czso/obypz_cr
- EN: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/monthlyfiguresondeathsregisteredbyareaofusualresidence
- FR: https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/serie/001641603
- DE: https://www-genesis.destatis.de/genesis, 12613-0012 Gestorbene: Bundesländer, Monate, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2020/05/PD20_194_12621.html
- SE: https://www.scb.se/en/, Births and deaths per month by sex. Year 1851 – 2019, https://www.scb.se/en/finding-statistics/statistics-by-subject-area/population/population-composition/population-statistics/pong/tables-and-graphs/preliminary-statistics-on-deaths/