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The data speak for themselves: mortality reduced despite the low diffusion of vaccines.

I read with amazement a fund of Federico Rampini on the Corriere della Sera. I try to summarize it: in Africa there are few deaths from Covid-19 even if vaccination campaigns are practically non-existent. This is a fact. For Rampini this goes against all odds: if vaccination campaigns are non-existent there should be a lot of deaths. Why didn’t this easy prediction come true? Rampini’s explanation is that in Africa there are many young people because there the birth rate is very high while, you know, in Europe we have stopped giving birth like rabbits (to use a phrase from Francis).

Modestly, even if I have not written it anywhere, I expected that Covid would not have great effects in Africa, but for reasons opposite to those invoked by Rampini. Life expectancy in Africa it ranges from 78 years in Algeria to 53 in Lesotho, while in Europe it ranges from 89 in Monaco to 72 in Moldova. In Italy he is 83 years old. If you live a short life in Africa it is obvious that there are few elderly people: you die before you get old. And this causes the average age to be very low. With us the average age is high because we live long: this is why there are so many elderly people! Now let’s look at the graph of the age groups affected by Covid mortality: the most affected classes are over 60 years of age. Few Africans get there.

The African tragedy does not consist in the possible mortality from Covid, but in the tangible mortality that takes decades of life to Africans, due to food shortages, poor hygiene, deficiencies in health systems. Countries with high mortality compensate with high birth rates, while those with low mortality decrease the birth rate, also due to the different female status: women are not machines for having children. They study, work, have ambitions and, to pursue their projects, postpone the first reproduction. This radically decreases the birth rate. On the one hand, it is said that the planet is unable to support the billions of humans who inhabit it and, on the other, there is a cry for the decline of the species if fewer children are born. And it is even claimed that population growth is insurance against Covid. Well …

Furthermore, I do not know that there are many centers for the elderly in Africa. The few elderly remain in the family and are not concentrated in structures where, if one gets sick, it infects all the others. It is therefore more difficult for the infection to spread.


Federico Rampini in Il Corriere della Sera, 6 January 2022

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