Comment: Empty beaches, full stadiums…fuller cemeteries?

Among the beneficiaries of state aid for small businesses in Bulgaria hit by the Covid-19 crisis were funeral parlours in the Black Sea city of Varna.

To be eligible for the state aid, a business had to show that it had no more than 50 employees and had registered a turnover in April 2020 that was at least 20 per cent lower than the monthly average for 2019.

According to National Statistical Institute figures for deaths in 2020, the trend of there being fewer this year compared with last year has been continuing, although the picture has changed slightly since I last dwelt on the topic in an article on Patreon some weeks ago.

With more information about deaths in the first part of 2020 having come in, it no longer appears so that every week this year has seen fewer deaths than the equivalent last year.

With figures available for the first 26 weeks of 2020 – in other words, the first half of the year – the number of deaths three times exceeded that of the same week in 2019 – twice in February and once in May.

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Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.