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Corona Virus

A series of write ups on the virus

A new year begins

11/01/2021

The data from the previous two weeks has been erratic due to Christmas and new year. So how are we doing?

It's the usual sorry state we have come to expect from the government.  Meanwhile British scientists and engineers are doing wonderful work in designing and manufacturing vaccines and we should be very proud of them.

So why are we in such a state?

From 14/12/20
The UK figures are quite depressing. Cases are rising, deaths are not decreasing, restrictions will be reduced at Christmas, and the Tiers will soon be revised. The Government continues, as it has done from the beginning to react too little and too late.
From 21/12/20
Boris Johnson announced the changes to the restrictions in London and the South East at around 4:30pm on 19th December. No one was allowed to leave after midnight.  As a result trains were crammed, with no social distancing, by folk desperate to get home for Christmas.   How many people caught the virus in a packed train carriage to pass on over the festivities?

So how do we compare?
For weekly death rates, in the EU countries England is fourth behind Lithuania. Slovakia, and Czechia.
In the world we are eighth. behind the above EU countries plus Lichtenstein, San Marino, Gibraltar and Wales.

New Cases per week
covid cases
We can see the sudden rise in cases in the UK following Christmas relaxation of restrictions

Deaths per week
covid deaths
The rise in cases following Christmas have resulted in a rise in deaths in the new year.  Strangely Germany seems not to be seeing a rise in cases, but a huge rise in the death rate.  Death rate in the UK is now considerably greater than any of our neighbours and also the USA.

Mortality
In this article I suggested that the new variant may have a higher mortality than the first variant. But there us another explanation for the increase in the proportion of new deaths to new cases.
Simply put, less cases are being recorded. This can be for any number of reasons. For example:-

If this is the case and not enough people are getting tested, then the virus will continue to spread at, or close to, the current rate of around 20% per week until the effect of the vaccinations kick in.

Vaccinations
Without vaccinations, with the new strain of covid, we currently seem to get a growth rate of 20% per week. As people are infected they either die or become immune (at least most of them will).  As more people become immune, the epidemic will tail off because of "herd immunity".  Everyone does not have to be immune.  As more people become immune, the chances of a susceptible person coming into contact with an infected person are reduced, eventually to a quite low probability, but never to zero.

But this takes a long time, and would result in many tens, or hundreds of thousands of deaths. over the next two years.  Current infections are running at around 340,000 per week, which will result in around 330,000 immunities. This figure would rise, then come down as immunity starts to have an effect on the virus spread. But it will take a long time, and if restrictions are released the figure will rocket.

For example:
Currently we (England) have had 71039 deaths.  Mortality is around 1.2% so we must have had about 6 million cases. Population is about 56 million so around 11% of the population are immune.  So the chance of someone with the virus meeting someone without it is 89%.  With these chances, with the current restrictions, the infection rate is growing at 30% per week, or 45% per 10 days (the length of time people are contageous) If we can reduce the chances of meeting someone with the virus by 45% then the growth should plateau. So we need to get these chance down to 55%x89% or 49%. So, roughly we need 50% of the population immune before the virus spread plateaus at the current level of restrictions.  Increasing restrictions will further reduce the growth
 
If we could vaccinate 2 million people per week, then the immunity figure grows much more quickly and does not tail off. We cannot avoid the rise in deaths over the next few weeks, but the vaccinations should make the rate plummet after the peak and the virus could be virtually eliminated in the UK.

The timing is dependent on the roll out and the take up of the vaccine.


Covid Articles

22/02/2021
Are we doing well?

1/02/2021
R is for Rubbish

30/01/2021
UK Lockdowns

27/01/2021
Dithering

24/01/2021
Good News and Bad

17/01/2021
Worst in Class

15/01/2021
There is light

11/01/2021
A new year begins

02/01/2021
A good thing?

31/12/2020
The Year ends in Tiers

21/12/2020
A worrying Trend

13/12/2020
Two weeks of Tiers

30/11/2020
Ending Lockdown

16/11/2020
Mid lock down

26/10/2020
October

8/10/2020
Long Covid

28/9/2020
September3

0/8/2020
August roundup

10/08/2020
Englands data

31/07/2020
July roundup

29/07/2020
Spain Data Manipulation II

20/07/2020
How far are we behind

12/07/2020
It progresses

04/07/2020
The flood gates open  

27/06/2020
State of the Nations

21/06/2020
Exit and Testing1

4/06/2020
Hindsight and Foresight#

07/06/2020
Tracking and general comment

05/06/2020
Spain Data Manipulation

5/06/2020
UK Data Manipulation

24/05/2020
Tracking, school opening and care homes.

17/05/2020
Tracking and comparison with Germany

10/05/2020
Tracking and comparison with other countries

7/05/2020
Tracking

7/05/2020
Clarification

03/5/2020
Exiting Part 1

01/05/2020
Statistics

01/04/2020
First Thoughts

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