Thursday, 14 October 2021

Covid infection rates: a league table

 This league table is taken from a graphic in the Guardian on 12th October 2021.

It show the "case rate per million people , past fortnight , compiled by Johns Hopkins University, USA (European countries only)


Lithuania             9 289

Romania             8 155 

UK                       6 667

Turkey                 4 480

Croatia                4 324

Ireland                3 351

Ukraine              3 521

Greece               2 754  

Austria               2 667

Belgium             1 962

Germany           1 305

Norway              1 101

France                  862

Sweden                833

Portugal               798

Italy                      632

Poland                 485

Spain                   470

 

There's nothing much "world beating" about the UK's position.  I wonder why?  We are after all still one of the most vaccinated populations, although our 66% has now been overtaken by seven other European countries.

 The accompanying article suggests that: "this may be because most most Western European countries  retained distancing and other Covid related  restrictions  when they opened up during the summer, while England decided to drop almost all its measures."

 I notice  that only a minority in shops and on trains and buses now wear masks, and social distancing seems to be a thing of the past.

 Maybe our "gung-ho" government  issues an uncertain sound, and we act accordingly.

 

 

 

     

8 comments:

  1. It's because we're ahead of the rest of the world in getting to the post-epidemic, endemic equilibrium phase. The places with lower rates are those which are still operating under significant restrictions, and as they get back to normal their case rates will settle about the same place ours are, and remain there permanently as a combination of immunity waning and reinfections keeps the number of infections oscillating about the herd immunity level, and the Wuhan coronavirus joins the other common cold viruses in worldwide circulation.

    I notice that only a minority in shops and on trains and buses now wear masks, and social distancing seems to be a thing of the past.

    Yes — wonderful, isn't it?

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    1. So you think we're already in the sunlit uplands. If you're right then presumably the rest of the world will gradually catch up and we shall lose our position among the leaders in terms of deaths per 100 000 population. viz:

      Romania: 209.03
      UK: 207.21
      Lithuania: 190.47
      France: 176.08
      Germany: 113.59

      Figures from https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

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    2. This article suggest=s we are not very sensible to accept the present rate of infections and deaths as "the new normal."

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/15/why-britons-are-tolerating-sky-high-covid-rates-and-why-this-may-not-last

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    3. If you're right then presumably the rest of the world will gradually catch up and we shall lose our position among the leaders in terms of deaths per 100 000 population

      A little, though to a limited extent because the pre-vaccine and post-vaccine phases of the kerfuffle are qualitatively different. Countries that were hit hard pre-vaccination will always have a higher death rate than countries which were hit harder later.

      (I wouldn't put to much stock in the international comparisons there though — different countries have been counting 'coronavirus deaths' very differently, and so the figures aren't directly comparable between nations. The real comparisons that count are total excess deaths over the previous five-year period for the next few years, as those will include both deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus that countries might have classified differently, and also deaths caused by the anti-coronavirus policies, such as deaths form delays cancer diagnoses due to the shutting-down of the non-coronavirus aspects of various countries' health services)

      This article suggest=s we are not very sensible to accept the present rate of infections and deaths as "the new normal."

      I don't understand the implication that we can decide to accept or not accept the present rate of infections. That's like saying we would not be very sensible to accept the days getting shorter in autumn. The present rate of infections simply is the endemic equilibrium. There's nothing we can do to change it, short of reconfiguring our entire society so that the future looks more like the horror of the last eighteen months than the normal world, and that we obviously aren't going to do.

      So it's not about accepting or not accepting. It's just about what, factually, is the case.

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  2. We need to reintroduce restrictions, as other countries have done and are doing.

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    1. We need to reintroduce restrictions, as other countries have done and are doing.

      What on Earth would be the point of that? Reintroducing restrictions might well bring the number of cases down; but as soon as the restrictions were relaxed, they would shoot straight back up again. So unless you are proposing restrictions for ever, what, I ask again, would be the point?

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    2. (And of course by 'restrictions' we're not talking just 'wear masks on the train': to really make a difference would require going back to the days of closed cinemas, theatres and pubs, and the government making laws about who you were allowed to invite into your own home.)

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  3. A letter from a (medical?) doctor in today’s Guardian (19th October) claims that “… the use of protective measures against Covid are working well across the Channel, while the UK Government’s lack of action continues to lead to unnecessary illness, suffering and death …” We need to worry.

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