Monday, January 04, 2021

Sarcasm Warning

Thank goodness for the lockdowns in 2016, 2017 and 2018. What would have happened without them?

Edit, corrected the dates on the image, apologies. Mea culpa. End edit.

The real, un-scribbled-upon data from Public Health England are here:

Please, please, please be aware that the week 52 data are only ESTIMATED.

The real value might be higher. Equally, it might be lower.

Hat tip to Mike Yeadon.


An afterthought: How do you explain the 2020/21 curve?

I don’t know. However: most “COVID-19 on the death certificate” deaths occur in hospitals and are reputed to be registered very promptly compared to community deaths. There is a massive need for the numbers of COVID-19 fatalities in the current situation, the government needs (and demands) these numbers fast to drive policy. This will inflate the uncorrected data through early December. However non-COVID-19 deaths are currently massively and exceptionally below normal for the time of year and these will only be incorporated in to the data more slowly than the rapidly registered COVID-19 deaths. So through early December the overall value has been correctly reported as being higher than normal because the low number of COVID-19 negative fatalities from the community (or even from hospitals) aren’t yet included. Now they are now coming in. I doubt PHE are remotely interested in assimilating this anomaly in to their estimating process (which will be based on previous years normal delay patterns of registration) but eventually the EuroMoMo absolute death data will have the truth out. Not that it will make any difference.

Why are non-COVID-19 deaths so low? People, sadly, die in some excess during the Winter. If you are hospitalised for anything at all leading to your death, the chances of you reaching your end without achieving a +vePCR test are very low. You will be a COVID-19 death and so you will be missing from other datasets.


End afterthought.


John said...

It surprises me that as a Vet. you still have not addressed the success of Ivermectin use against Covid.

Puddleg said...

Some evidence from NZ here:

Some relatively weak anti-Covid measures - border closures, handwashing, social distancing and a short lockdown - have almost entirely eliminated influenza-like illnesses and lowered the death rate in New Zealand across 2020, even in the absence of any competing mortality with Covid-19 as COD.

As for ivermectin, it's interesting that no-one promoting it has mentioned the effect on male fertility. I suppose that doesn't fit the "rouge alpha males find suppressed cure" narrative.
Fortunately selenium, which should be part of the COVID-19 protocol anyway, seems to protect against avermectin-induced testicular dysfunction.

Not to say it doesn't work, I hope it does, but the Hill meta is a bit sketchy till the larger trial results come in, it's hard adjusting for propensity in COVID outcomes.

John said...

Some good info on Ivermectin...Our gov here in Belize is using it now.

LeenaS said...
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Isabelle Vince said...
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Eric said...

I am puzzled: London should have attained herd immunity long ago, yet apparently 1 in 30 Londoners has an active Covid infection, and hospitals are coming apart at the seams.

So what is going on here?
- there was no herd immunity?
- mutation reinfects?
- many of these are testing positive but are really immune as virus can live on mucous membranes until specialized antibodies get it (but if so, why the wave in hospitalizations?)

Eric said...

Two different takes on mortality in Germany.

The first article is too long to translate via Deepl, but feel free to do it on your own. Quick summary: mortality in Germany has been increasing for several years because the age group of 80+ has grown. At the same time, their life expectancy has been going up. So the numbers from Destatis (government statistics office) which simply take the average per week of the past five years are too simplistic. This growth in life expectency seems to be super-linear, because in most of the recent years, actual mortality was lower than expected mortality extrapolated from previous years. This still seems to be true for 2020 and will likely remain true for 2021:

Then we have this article based on the latest update from Destatis:
which gives us +23% for the week of Dec 7th to 13th. Regionally, the picture is interesting. Saxonia, which had close to no first wave and also had plenty of Covid deniers, has the largest uptick in winter now. Berlin, which had highish numbers throughout the summer really has had nothing significant all year long. In Bavaria, you can see a little peak from the first wave and another now.

Eric said...

The story of the U-turn on Vit D:

If true that it's only 20%, this would explain the current infection rates:

Peter said...


You said “I am puzzled: London should have attained herd immunity long ago, yet apparently 1 in 30 Londoners has an active Covid infection, and hospitals are coming apart at the seams”.

So…. Londoners are modelled to have 1 in 30 with “active COVID-19”. I think you have to qualify that as are modelled to “have a positive PCR result”. Some hospitals are coming apart at the seems because staff who test +ve on PCR are not allowed back until they test negative. This could be in excess of 2 months. In addition there is an appalling problem with what to do with A&E admissions. If you are known PCR+ve you go to a COVID ward. If you are not yet tested you will be put in a holding ward. Chances of you going in negative but staying negative while you receive your -ve result, are low. Assuming you pick up SARS-CoV-2 in the holding ward then get a negative PCR while having subsequently picked up the infection, are high. Then you are moved, based on your negative PCR from admission, to a COVID-clear ward. Obviously, not COVID clear for long! I pity the people having to organise this, it’s doomed to failure.

It’s also worth noting (from PHE) that the PCR protocol was changed some time just before December the 23rd to enhance detection of the “new variant”. Soon after Dec 23rd “cases”, ie “PCR positives” exploded. Nation wide. In synchrony. It was exponential for the first few days. It could be the new variant, personally I doubt it. A lot.

We should be having a mild peak of respiratory virus deaths this winter because Boris and friends removed a large number of susceptible people from the population in nursing homes during March/April. However we have had the removal of normal health care since then and brought the shielding population out of shielding throughout autumn, until it was re-advised a few weeks ago.

Luckily mandatory masks out doors will fix everything!


Eric said...

Peter, thanks for taking the time to answer. What you say what happens in hospitals is very plausible (and pure madness at that).

I hadn't heard about the other point: How was the protocol changed and how would that drive up detected infections?

Here in Germany, the protocol was not changed (mostly because most commercial labs are not set up to look for variants), and rates have stuck to their high level for about 6 weeks, in spite of ever stricter restrictions.

The debate here is beginning to turn on how our personal lives are being ever more restricted while the politicos have been reluctant to touch businesses other than shops, restaurants, hairdressers. So while employers have been appealed to to allow home office whereever possible, it is not binding, and it is perfectly legal to keep employees in an open plan office all day long without masks as long as they can keep 1,5 m apart. I also just saw three strapping young men with impressive beards and no masks huddled in the cab of a delivery van (probably illegal, but the police prefer to ticket bicyclists not wearing a mask in inner cities - never mind the risk of having an accident because glasses tend to fog up in this weather). So I am really not surprised that the ever stricter lockdown does not work as intended. Every good engineer will go after the big items in the error budget, but these folks are optimizing the bottom 20% of the Pareto lineup.

Eric said...

from guardian newsticker - is the good professor not able to see what you describe?

England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, has tacitly criticised Covid deniers who have sought to downplay the scale of the epidemic, saying this winter “is in a completely different league” for the NHS. He told the BBC:

We will get through together, but at this point in time we’re at the worst point in the epidemic for for the UK.

There are always going to be noises of people coming up with absurd theories, and suggestions of things that are either obviously not true, or a misunderstanding of what’s going on.

But I think anybody who looks at some of the reports that the BBC and other news outlets done from hospitals, anyone who talks to a doctor or a nurse working in the NHS, anybody who actually reads any newspaper, they will know this is a really serious problem – this is not a typical winter.

Every winter there are problems. This is in a completely different league.

Passthecream said...
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Gyan said...

BBC? Is that a trustworthy source?

Eric said...

Gyan, in this case, the source is Prof Whitty. BBC and guardian were just the messenger.

I have no issue with BBC being trustworthy except when it comes to health.

Peter said...

Whitty is now a Politico, not a reliable source of information. I could say worse things about him, but I won't. I was taught immunology, probably from the same textbooks as he was.


Numbbum said...

I was disappointed by Whitty's enthusiastic joining of the 'blame the public' approach that the government seems to have settled on as a way out of having to take responsibility for anything. The press are now baying for tighter restrictions. As if we didn't already have a mental health crisis pre-COVID!

Peter said...

It's quite clear that none of the UK NPI are making much difference to anything, at least not in terms of benefits. If you have a failed intervention which you are ramping up and ramping up, with your reputation staked on it while things are getting worse, it is inconceivable that you could admit error. So blame the public. It's disgusting.

Never forget the Siege of Turin. Cutting edge medicine...