Saturday, November 07, 2020

Here we go in to Lockdown 2

This is the number of daily positive PCR tests (rather than genuine cases) in the UK, via Worldometers, graphed from the UK government website data. I've added an arrow to indicate the start of Lockdown 2 for those of us living under peak incompetence.



And here are the ICU admissions for the current wave, in orange. Ignore the dramatic drop at the end of this line, it probably represents under reporting because it takes time to update the database for the last 24h and these stats come out at teatime every Friday. Again these are data for time immediately before Lockdown 2:
















Will it Lockdown 2 work?

Pretty safe bet it will because PCR positive test numbers have already plateaued, ICU admissions have plateaued and are probably falling, both over the week pre lockdown.

Overall it looks like we continue to head towards herd immunity despite all attempts to stop this and in the face of minimal protection for the vulnerable. Deaths have not plateaued yet, that will lag a few weeks behind the peak in positive test results.

Any modelling scenario which did not have these data as a future possibility when it was run at the start of October should perhaps have its validity questioned. That'll be the one with the 4000 deaths per day as a possible scenario, in particular.

Listening to the modellers is like listening a cardiologist espousing the benefits and "death-preventing" effects of statins. Except for lockdowns there is no equivalent to the easy option of dropping your statin prescription in the bin.

Will Lockdown 2 end on the 2nd of December?

Hahahahahahahahahaha

Peter

43 comments:

Justin said...

It's almost as if they knowingly waited till it reached that inflection point and started it's downward trend before initiating lockdown 2.0. See, it works!!!! Lol! That lag in the deaths will cement everything.

JR said...

I have said this before, that Sweden appears as control group for the rest of the world. Since the population base is 10 M, the numbers are easily scalable. So,
100 in ICU; tripled in 2 weeks (still very little but trend is normal autumn flu trend…)
mean age 61 only, but 90% of <60 years come back from ICU. >70% under 80’s as well, and over 50% of the rest…

Tegnell was asked some questions on 3rd Nov:
People do not seem to get infected in public transport, but rather in the workplace. There are no signs from countries, that have required masks in transportation, to limit the spread of infection. It is difficult to see that it could be worse Belgium and the Czech Republic where they have obligatory masks…The important thing is to work from home...

“WHO says it is important with masks, but Sweden does not follow it. Is that something you are considering again?”

"We are constantly considering all possible tools, but we see no dramatic improvement when masks are introduced in Europe. There has been no new knowledge about masks, but the most important thing is to keep your social distance. We see that the spread of infection takes place at private parties and I have a very hard time believing that in that environment you can succeed in requiring masks."

There is an English doctor in Stockholm with excellent blog inserts https://sebastianrushworth.com
The latest one is about PCR testing accuracy, interesting reading that gives some comprehensive perspective to PCR's and “casesgenerating”...
JR

Peter said...

Justin, I find it utterly impossible to fathom who thinks what in the UK government and their advisors. Nothing makes sense.

JR, the masks are a great example. Initially introduced on the basis of expert opinion. You could get a worse level of reliability of evidence but you would have to work at it. Asking Bojo might be worse??? Then the WHO funded a study with explicitly stated that it hadn't got any intervention trials to include in the paper. So they went with lots of inter-country comparisons. Phew, that must be so convincing! And Japan, where mask wearing is routine, found this "Seroprevalence increased from 5.8 % to 46.8 % over the course of the summer." in https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.21.20198796v1. None of the subjects in the study were ill but nearly half ended up seropositive. Doesn't look like masks stop exposure... And of course the seroprevalence of 46.8% is likely to be a gross underestimate if the early UK seroconversion data are anything to go by.

Peter

Kathryn Rose said...

Is that plateau from herd immunity, or from the implementation of the tier system a few weeks ago?

Eric said...

I honestly don't know how to reconcile the numbers coming in without assuming that either repeat infections are common or some tests and extrapolations are dubious.

1. There are sadly nearly 50,000 deaths in the UK attributed to Covid (and yes, cause of death can be argued in some cases). At 0.1% CFR and conservatively estimating 0.05% IFR, about 130% of the UK population have been infected. So why are we seeing new infections, hospitalizations and about 330 daily deaths?

2. Same thing for Sweden. Sebastian Rushworth, among others, pronounced herd immunity to have been achieved by August. Yet we are seeing a large caseload, ICU treatments, deaths, and Stockholm is only a little behind other regions of Sweden.

3. The Japanese paper is interesting, especially as the 46.8% must be an underestimation since antibodies wane after a few months. I can see how masks would drive immunity without infection by allowing for repeated low dose exposure. Also, while I have not been to Tokyo this year and the company I work with there has implemented a work at home scheme, the only sensible way to get around in Tokyo is by subway and through crowded stations, so if most companies returned to regular work schedules in the summer, this is not surprising.

I am not surprised about the situation in the Czech republic, just having read a report from there. Apparently, they had a mask mandate but compliance over the summer was minimal. This seems to have to do with an incompetent and universally despised government. Sound familiar? Not sure why Belgium, France, Spain, Italy keep tightening their lockdowns with little effect. Maybe if the virus has gotten too far out of the box, it is near impossible to contain it again (then again, why did Israel succeed apparently?).

What UK seroconversion data are there that imply even higher immunity? Again, if true, why are we seeing the caseload rise?

4. Even if the UK situation seems FUBAR, the situation in Isreal in September was worse, and their 2nd lockdown seems to have worked wonders, even to the degree of stretching credulity. Do we have plausible explanations?

5. As for numbers beginning to slow down even before the lockdown could have taken effect, we have the same thing in Germany. ICU occupation was in the 200s for four months in the summer and then took off to > 2000 in less than a month, which was probably what sent politicians into a panic. To date, the count is 2904, and numbers seem to be levelling off, but we have only been in 2nd lockdown for exactly one week. There are two plausible explanations:
- People started being more careful and restrictions at the county level were already tightened as numbers went beyond thresholds much earlier.
- Large cities and areas that had higher incidence seem to have stabilized at ~120-200 infections per week and 100,000 inhabitants since September, and that's where the bulk of ICU patients were coming from. Regions that were previously in the 5 - 30 range have only hit the 50 - 150 range in the last two weeks, so we are not yet seeing the patients from there.

Eric said...

An article from a Chinese author who seems to know Europe quite well:
https://www.zeit.de/politik/2020-11/corona-massnahmen-asien-china-vietnam-japan-suedkorea-erfolge

If you don't want to slog through google translate, here's the gist:

- much better performance in Asia, Vietnam only 1000 infections, Japan 8x less than Germany, South Korea 12x less, and NZ and Oz success stories, too

- restrictions must be mandatory and be policed

- quarantine means quarantine

- integrated concept (high testing only makes sense if tracking possible)

- borders were closed in time

Hmmm

I continue to be puzzled by the low numbers in Thailand and Vietnam. I guess we can screw the official Japanese numbers now. But they have Olympic games to hold next year, so they just cannot have high numbers.

Eric said...

Your second graph, is that daily admissions to ICUs rather than total occupancy? So if you have 100 admissions/day and patients spend two weeks there on average, you have 1400 CV patients in ICU?

Here's the corrosponding graph for Germany:
https://www.zeit.de/arbeit/2020-11/lage-intensivstation-coronavirus-krankenhaus-beschaeftigte-engpaesse

According to this graph, the total number of 3000 is now higher than the peak in April. However, the central registry for ICU beds was introduced around that time, so some cases from April may not be included in the statistic. And we should also not compare the absolute numbers because Germany has more beds per capita and seems to use them more liberally.

But what remains is that the UK graph is not replicated by the situation in Germany, and since we are probably a few weeks behind, the corresponind graph two weeks from now might actually show a November peak that is twice as high as April's.

Peter said...

Eric, I look at the UK figures as here we have to deal with what we have now. In week 43 (ending 23rd October). From here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending23october2020

I note that in-hospital all cause mortality is 14, yes 14, people above the 5 year average for that week, having been well below average for months. Most people (80%?) passing with SARS-CoV-2 will do so in hospital. That's to be seen in Fig 6. Note that the UK has a fairly marked increase in overall all-cause mortality and that this is being driven, and has been for months, by deaths at home. Not many of which will have been COVID-19. These data are from the UK Office of National Statistics, ONS.

If you look at our government website

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

you can see from the first figure that hospital admissions have also plateaued pre lockdown. So have the total number of patients in ICU on ventilators, that's the third figure down.

All of this was in place pre Lockdown 2.

"Successful" countries are waiting for a vaccine. I just hope that said vaccine not only reduces severity of disease (which it might) but also stops carriage and transmission of the virus. Which seems unlikely, but you never know.

Ultimately the virus in Europe is endemic. Time to learn to live with it.

Peter

Peter said...

We have just over 1000 patients in ICU and that is not increasing, as in third figure cited in above comment.

Peter

BTW I understand that Germany has an excellent test/trace/isolate system. Which just goes to show what a complete waste of money an excellent system has been... The UK system is junk so no one other than maybe Bojo expected it to work. I certainly didn't. Depressing to be correct.

Peter said...

Kathryn,

PCR positives test results in Liverpool have been dropping for weeks. Is this a result of Tier 3 lockdown? Maybe.

Nottingham city (my home town) was moved in to Tier 3 after weeks of falling PCR positive tests. Does that mean Tier 2 works? Maybe.

Justification for Nottingham Tier 3 was that "cases" were rising in surrounding buroughs. But if Nottingham city peaked under Tier 2, why wouldn't the surrounding area? I certainly doubt that people on St Anne's Well Road Estates of the city behave any better than those in suburban Arnold or Mapperley!

Peter

Peter said...

Eric, BTW I do enjoy your comments. Sorry if I am somewhat entrenched in my views. The data make me think what I think!

Peter

Eric said...

Peter, I appreciate the space you provide here and that we can have a serious discussion. Malcolm's blog has become overrun with zealots now that he has started blogging about Covid.

I have made a career drawing conclusions from incomplete data. Fortunately, when I'm off, it only costs money, no lives at stake. I get the feeling that the UK data may be what is taking Malcolm and you into a certain direction, but for me, the bigger picture of what is happening worldwide is raising red flags.

For one, if herd immunity was attained in parts of the UK, in Lombardy, in Madrid, Barcelona, Stockholm, NYC, why are those the very places where it is coming back with a vengeance this autumn? I am honestly interested in hearing your thoughts about that.

I hear that you think the flattening is due to herd immunity being achieved. But why now and not already by summer? And why in Nottingham, but not in London or Newcastle?

Also, we should try to understand what is going on in Japan. Even if they missed plenty of cases, the outcome, if true, of widespread immunity with little disease sounds very attractive.

And Isreal seems to show that a second lockdown with lacklustre compliance seems to work even when the horses are out of the barn. Why?

I agree that both testing and tracking are currently on the verge of being overwhelmed in Germany, but they bought us a relatively relaxed summer and a pretty tame second lockdown now.

Chris said...

I find the whole thing utterly depressing. My partner has a PhD in viral immunology and our evenings are spent shouting at the news and it’s profoundly unscientific predictions of doom.

Eric said...

@ Chris, maybe your partner should start a blog or get interviewed by papers to offer a different perspective? Maybe this will be more effective than shouting at talking heads.

@ Peter: What's your take on the Pfizer / BioNtech release today? Since there is no paper yet, it is difficult to tell from the reporting and interviews, but I read it as being 90% effective in preventing infection, so replication and hence transmission should be severely curtailed.

Bob said...

Eric,

Recall it was just about this time 14 years ago when the Pfizer CEO announced that Torcetrapib would be "one of the most important compounds of our generation." Three days later, the drug was pulled because the phase III clinical trial failed.

Will history repeat itself?

Eric said...

The owners of BioNTech seem very committed and serious. I just hope Pfizer lending their muscle have not corrupted them.

karl said...

I think trying to block a virus is hubris - what is more interesting is why different areas end up with different deaths/million. It appears to me that the reason we have a cold-flue season is the average levels of vit-D change.
https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960076020302764

Does ozone producing smog block enough UV to matter in urban areas?

My best hunch is that we will end up with 700 - 1000 Pop-deaths/million in most places - then it will be an endemic infection similar to influenza.

The other question is how many pop-deaths/million are being caused by the isolation policies?

Where does the idea that slowing prevents deaths come from?( I can even imagine ways it might increase deaths). I think in the end, the area under the curve will be rather constant.

Masks, as used by the public - touching them every 90 sec - do they reduce or increase viral spread?

My personal take is using a mask to block viruses is sort of like using a cocktail umbrella in a down-pour - you are still going to get exposed.

Then there is the stress induced by the masks and isolation - how many deaths will it responsible for?

How many deaths long term will be caused by the disruption of TB and malaria programs? Economic disruptions cause deaths - third world children will pay a heavy price.

Where did the cooler-heads go?

Eric said...

Karl, as I've said before, the cocktail umbrella is a feature, not a bug. It allows for repeated low dose exposure, exactly what is needed to grow immunity without the severe cases. This is what may have played out in Japan, along with plenty of fatty fish and generally lowe obesity (not so enamored with other Japanese habits such as eating rice, soy products, using sesame and soy oil, smoking, drinking, sleep deprivation).

I expected a similar result for European contries that had a mask mandate throughout the summer, and it sure looked to be working until September, but apparently it was a mirage.

As for the first lockdown, excess mortality is lower than Covid death count for several European countries, so the lockdown probably prevented more deaths from dangerous behavior and flu than it caused in deaths from limited access to medical care or despair.

Chris said...

@Eric - unfortunately both she and I have jobs where we need to be careful to be seen to be politically neutral. And this has now become political

cavenewt said...

@karl asked "Where does the idea that slowing prevents deaths come from?"

Remember, last spring the whole rationale for the lockdown was to "flatten the curve" so that hospitals would not be overwhelmed.

Somehow that has morphed into preventing *all possible* infections at *all* costs. At least here in the US, everything has become politicized, as Chris points out; so a politician can't even hint that preventing all possible infections may not be desirable or possible.

I'm intrigued by the idea that @Eric keeps expressing, that wearing a mask helps one develop a low-grade immune response, and would love to see some citations for that. On the one hand it seems logical which, of course, means nothing where biology is concerned. On the other hand it might explain, or help explain, some of the confusingly mixed reporting.

Peter said...

Chris, absolutely. I support the Great Barrington Declaration. So does Nigel Farrage, whom I consider to make our PM look positively honest...

cave, yes, delaying the infection of an 82 year old diabetic will not alter the outcome for said diabetic. It will be interesting to see if any of the vaccines will help people of this age. Or even if any might help someone in their 50s with profound metabolic syndrome. Or stop them transmitting the virus. Time will tell, maybe...

Peter

Passthecream said...

Cavenewt, I was reading yesterday that Japan seems to building up to a 'third wave' now. Tricky little bug this one, perhaps has figured out how to slip around the edges of the masks, or people are just over-confident.

Eric said...

@Pass, maybe like this?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/11/japan-warns-of-third-wave-amid-rising-covid-infections

It is not surprising that the virus moves at different speeds in different parts of a country, so parts with little exposure catching up can look like another wave when looking only at the national numbers.

However, above article says that the cases are also rising in Tokyo, and we have just learned from the paper that by end of August, nearly 50% of the sample of Tokyo employees had antibodies. Adding those who aquired antibodies since or whose response had become too weak to measure at the time of measurement, one should really think that herd immunity is achieved by now. Yet we have the same picture as in Stockholm or countless other places where this milestone has been purportedly achieved.

I had hoped to have some open and intelligent discussion about this here, since the things very obviously do not add up and I honestly don't even see the UK data taking us where Peter says they are taking us.

@Cave:
https://nyti.ms/2FgoW4C
https://nyti.ms/3f4vPlK

There was also a paper I linked in the Barrington thread which observed lower severity and hypothetised about variolation.

I think it is highly plausible that not getting a high dose as in a wild night in an overcrowded and poorly ventilated bar (Ischgl) or excerting in a gym next to an infected person will result in less severe outcomes.

As for the low dose immunization effect, I found it also highly plausible and into September, I thought the numbers, especially the numbers of German hospitalizations, were vindication, but very clearly this fell apart since.

After correcting for the age makeup, hospitalization and fatality rates have dropped a little (better treatment?) but nowhere near what you would expect if some low grade immunization had taken place. I hate to repeat myself, but we keep seeing both infection rates and hospitalizations in places that should have immunity in a very significant percentage of the population. And since they do end up in hospital, we cannot even claim this to be due to an overly sensitive PCR test.

Eric said...

By the way, the modelling paper by the MPI Göttingen group was updated Oct. 28. I think another update is imminent:

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2010.05850.pdf

Justin said...

Anyone have an opinion/insight on the oral fecal mode of transmission? I know most so called experts think it's mostly transmitted airborne, but I can't help but think this other mode of transmission might be significant.

Eric said...

I keep hearing it is not as significant as initially assumed but I have not seen any publications.

Eric said...

Since restaurants and cinemas had to close again in Germany, we keep hearing there is no evidence that infections happen there. On the other hand, just looking how everyone moved inside restaurants after the first cold spells in September told me infections were going to go up.

Now there is a neat study from the US:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2923-3

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02964-4

Eric said...

French PM Jean Castex said last night that by now a quarter of all deaths in France are due to Covid19. This is after they kept implementing ever stricter rules, culminating in a full lockdown (similar to spring, i.e. one needs to print out and sign a slip what their business is venturing outside) on Oct 17. Their new cases are beginning to slow but of course, deaths will need another 2-3 weeks to go down.

I can only hope that other countries will skid by this kind of scenario because they stepped on the brakes earlier.


https://www.rtl.fr/actu/politique/en-direct-coronavirus-et-confinement-suivez-les-annonces-de-jean-castex-7800921509

Passthecream said...

Eric,


If you look at the graph right at the start of Campbell's latest update

https://youtu.be/n2zBZbIL32g

It looks like the current surges in France, Italy, UK, US, etc start ramping up at the exact same time, somewhere near the start of September. It reminds me of a paper I read some time back about the epidemiology of flu which pointed out how the start of a flu season often takes place in widely separated areas in the same hemisphere almost on the same day eg France vs USA. That seems obviously seasonal although the mechanisms are not clear. The suggested mechanism was a seasonal trigger ( temp?, dampness?, sunlight levels?, ethnicity?, seasonal behaviours?, vitamin D?, wtf???) combined with a circulating pool of asymptomatic carriers.

That sits well with the situation outlined in that paper. I also think the danger of being in a crowded place wrt infection is very high. Seems bloomin' obvious to me!

Eric said...

@ Pass, yes, striking. Let's see. Vitamin D (not necessarily the stores but the amount newly made)? Maybe, but the drop would have been earlier in Sweden than in Italy.

People being too careless during their summer vacation, further spreading the virus which then percolates and really takes off a few weeks later? Maybe, but while most of Southern Europe have their main summer vacation in August and early September, the northern half tends to be earlier. You get this devide even within Germany, and the northern states were hit a lot later than the southern states.

Beats me!

Justin said...

This is pretty random, but I can't help but post it here. Lol! Fear Inoculum released late 2019 and the song is Pneuma. Lol! Tool is my favorite band of all time. The timing on the release of this album is so crazy. The location they were touring in as Covid spread is even more disturbing. That being said, even at Danny's age, looks like he would crush Covid or whatever. Lol!

https://youtu.be/FssULNGSZIA

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

While I am usually for following restrictions and have little patience with BJ, putting him in quarantine looks a bit strange from a scientific point of view. Yet I haven't found any report trying to explain this (such as: need to apply rules evenly or cannot be sure he is immune).

cavenewt said...

@Eric

I would imagine it's because they're not sure about immunity, despite the fact that he's bursting with antibodies.

Passthecream said...

Although you can have antibodies and other pumped up immunity, you might still have a brief infection during which time you could be infective to some degree. Immune response can be fast but not always instantaneous and it has to have something to react against.

Super-spreaders are probably a mixed bag of types ranging from newly infected people who have not yet succumbed to the classic style of Typhoid Mary who was somehow immune yet simultaneously infective.

There are mysteries within mysteries within ...

Eric said...

Animation without text of weekly infection numbers per county in Germany (red = 50 new infections per 100,000 and week).

It is interesting to see how effective the first lockdown was and how local hot spots just kept dissappearing into September and then just stayed and expanded.

https://www.zeit.de/wissen/gesundheit/2020-11/corona-ausbreitung-deutschland-region-hotspot-neuinfektion-karte

Bob said...

Regarding BoJo's quarantine, I'm guessing it's due to a "cock-up" (in the US we say "screw-up") in the test-and-trace system. It's analogous to the UK death count cock-up that was "fixed" in August.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-deaths/uks-covid-19-death-toll-lowered-to-41000-after-methodology-change-idUSKCN2582DV

Here's a story from Lockdown Sceptics describing test-and-trace fiascos.

https://lockdownsceptics.org/2020/10/26/latest-news-174/#nhs-test-and-trace-whistleblower-its-a-complete-shit-show

I think it's just confusion typical of large organizations as expressed by government. It's why I have trouble with conspiracy theories. They require a competence almost as rare as hens' teeth. It's a shame because of the myriad short and long term effects on us peasants. Still, we vote for it and tend to get it good and hard.

Peter said...

Bob, yes. Incompetence, personal "greed" (financial and/or academic and/or power), dogma and hubris can explain a lot. Almost everything. There are some things which still worry me re conspiracies but the main argument against huge conspiracy events is the impracticability of organising such large projects in secret without cock-ups (as we undoubtedly do say over this side of the Pond).

Re Bojo. It's just a virtue signal. As if Bojo has any virtue!

Peter

Eric said...

Lost me. You mean Bojo going in quarantine is PR? Probably true.

OK, now December is one week out. In Germany, the increase has stopped but numbers are not really receding, and hospitals are busy but not stretched. They will probably extend this "lockdown light" until just before Christmas, and its not that bad. Most people are working as normal, with some, mostly big companies and some smaller creative or start ups having reverted to telework. Kids going to school normally except masked. Restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres closed.

Elsewhere in many places, restrictions are tighter and hospitals are beginning to work at the limits. I get the impression of Atlas struggling but still managing. Can he sustain this through winter?

I suppose trying to understand how we got here despite all notions of herd immunity and presumably oversensitive PCR tests is futile. Those severe cases and deaths are very real.

Maybe we should discuss whether the vaccines are the panacea they are currently touted to be.

With the conventional vaccines, I suppose the issues are reasonably clear. The vector virus can potentially cause harm, and some of the adjuvants used may be suspect.

What about the mRNA vaccines. In theory, they look brilliant. Is there a way they can go wrong that may be missed with the rushed testing and certification that is happening?

Eric said...

I am going to contradict myself (somewhat, the article is more about attitudes than science) by posting an article that muses why South East Asia is doing so much better.

https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2020-11/umgang-corona-arroganz-asien-vietnam-infektionsgeschehen-erfolg/komplettansicht

If you don't want to use google translator, just try DeepL. It's a little cumbersome because you have to copy and paste the text but the result is incredibly good. Just the opening paragraphs (the only miss is that slang "verbohrt" was once correctly translated as stubborn and the other time incorrectly as bored):

Stubborn and arrogant
A column by Vanessa Vu
Vanessa Vu
While federal and state governments argue, mask objectors demonstrate and companies go bankrupt, life in East Asia functions almost as before. It is our own fault.
24 November 2020, 7:29 Uhr - 319 Comments
Bored and arrogant - Page 1
My Vietnamese teacher in Ho Chi Minh City laughed at me the other day: "Corona? Only in Europe!" In Vietnam it's no longer an issue, he said in our Zoom lesson. And indeed, no one in the country has been infected for 83 days. The few new infections are all due to people who were isolated and tested when they entered the country. For my relatives and friends there this means: dinner with the extended family, karaoke nights, full clubs. When I look at the pictures in social media, I sometimes wonder who of us is living in the freer society right now. And why we, who live in a supposedly highly developed, high-tech country, can't get the virus under control.


In Vietnam there are slightly more people than in Germany (96 million vs. 83 million) living in a slightly smaller area (331,212 square kilometres vs. 357,386 square kilometres). The country also has three neighbouring countries, one of which is China, where the virus originally came from. Nevertheless, there have only been around 1,300 confirmed infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in Vietnam. Germany, on the other hand, has reported over 900,000 cases, and there are currently around 15,000 new infections every day.
Now official statistics are admittedly not very reliable in a one-party state without freedom of the press, and the staging of success and war rhetoric may seem a bit exaggerated (one leitmotif is "chống dịch như chống giặc" - fending off the pandemic like foreign invaders). But hundreds of thousands of coughing, feverish people, mass deaths - even Vietnam could not cover that up. On the contrary, at the beginning of the pandemic, one could rather watch in amazement how Vietnamese state media simply published lists of names of all infected people, including age and place of residence. One can therefore assume that the country has really got the virus under control.

So what is wrong with the fact that we have almost 700 times higher infection rates? Is it our government with its half-hearted measures and its chaotic communication - or is it the population in the end who, possibly for historical reasons, have a problem with state authority and are reluctant to be told what to do from above? Probably both.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Peter said...

Eric, re Bojo. He undoubtedly has had SARS-CoV-2 by clinical and radiographic findings, undoubtedly backed up by a PCR +ve test result.

There is no way, at all, that he is going to get SARS-CoV-2 a second time in the foreseeable future. Unless the human immune system doesn't work. So Bojo met someone who later came down with COVID-19. Will Bojo get it? Spread it? Only if immunology doesn't work.

It does, that's why Bojo is not dead.

But how could he break his own rules, however solid the science that says he has no need to self isolate?

Contrast that with Richard Breeze

https://anchor.fm/wdgll/episodes/23-COVID-19-ICU-care--long-term-effects-and-immunity-with-Dr-Richard-Breeze-edaopg/a-a21t9ab

who worked in ICU through the whole first wave in London without PPE. He'd had the virus and recovered without ever being unwell. He knew, as I know, that neither he, nor the recovered Bojo, would be at any risk of either getting or transmitting the virus, other than mechanically. Washing your hands is normal ICU behaviour. Maybe not so much for Prime Ministers.

Peter

Passthecream said...

Eric, Taiwan Similarly. They closed their borders and sensible compliance to rules is high.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90579327/how-taiwan-escaped-the-covid-19-coronvirus-pandemic


Where I live life has been mostly normal right through because our state government(s) closed the borders to most travellers, have a high testing rate, and mandatory quarantine for any overseas arrivals who are allowed through. There has been a minor outbreak in the last two weeks when the virus escaped quarantine somehow, human foibles?, but the contract tracers have tracked down thousands of people and isolated them in home quarantine for two weeks. The wider lockdown process operates on a hair trigger where necessary. People grumble but don't really mind because it works.

Eric said...

Here in Germany, the second lockdown or lockdown-light has been a semi-success in that infection rates have stabilized but are they are not going down or only very slightly. At the same time, postive rates are approaching 10%, which means a lot of infections are probably being missed.

The prime ministers just extended the lockdown, making it slightly stricter as of next week, but some of this sounds slightly silly:
- only 5 instead of 10 people can meet (except for Xmas to New Year, when it temporarily goes back to 10 so families can meet)
- hotels in most states will remain closed over Xmas (as if sleeping on Granny's couch were safer than meeting her for dinner and sleeping in a hotel)
- schools remain open unless local incidence is above 200 weekly infections / 100,000, this is when they must start teaching only half classes (a bit late, in my eyes)
- long distance trains will take reservations only for 1/3 of the seats but subways and buses remain the same
- shops can only let in one customer per 10 m² but one per 20 m² if > 800 m², so 800 m² = 80 customers, 801 m² = 40 customers (this won't last five minute in court)

At the same time, the Göttingen group has looked at two options:
- keep as is and live with it until at leaast March
- tigthen by more than whas was just decided and have a pretty much trouble free life from Xmas on

https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.11413

Two more tidbids:

- The Danish mask study has seen a lot of premature reporting: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4586

- Nice interactive toy:
https://www.zeit.de/wissen/gesundheit/2020-11/coronavirus-aerosols-infection-risk-hotspot-interiors