Thursday 9 July 2020

Day 115 of self-isolation - bad news, good news

More cases, more deaths

In the USA, new deaths were 857, new cases 60 thousand. There are especially big numbers in California, Texas, Jersey, Florida and Arizona. The Jersey governor has mandated mask wearing in all public places; the other governors are moving in that direction. Half of America is saying "Just wear the goddam mask" and the other half is saying "No because freedom". I still see this as akin to drink-driving. We give up the freedom to drink-and-drive because it harms other people.

New York is very worried about getting Covid-19 from the rest of the USA. They can keep tabs on people flying in, but in the USA, you can just jump into your car and travel to any state. The problems of the rest of the USA, could cause fresh outbreaks in New York, which would be a grave disappointment.

In the UK, 126 deaths and 630 new cases. So we're still on a downward trend.

In the rest of Europe, deaths are down to a few dozen. new cases to a few hundred, so things are looking very good there. I calculated the deaths per million for the EU+UK, and it comes to 178557 deaths and 514 million people, which is 347 deaths per million, a bit less than the USA now.

Mexico is still a raging inferno, and so is most of South America, especially Brazil which is moving slowly towards the top spot held by the USA.

Australia has imposed a new lock down in Melbourne, and is restricting traffic between the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

India and nearby countries are still rising fast.

In Africa - South Africa and Egypt are the worst, but Nigeria could get bad.

Some good news

The Oxford vaccine is now in three late-stage trials (including in Brazil where the virus is spreading fast and so makes a good testing area, and South Africa). The UK trial (7000 volunteers) started several weeks ago. By the end of August, we should know whether the vaccine is effective, and then regulators could approve the vaccine for emergency use, which would mean high risk groups such as healthcare workers, followed by people who are most at risk (elderly with preconditions).

AstraZeneca will be supplying a billion doses, and the Serum Institute of India will be making another billion doses (of which 400 million will be made before the end of 2020). We're expecting the first 30 million in Britain by September.

The cost of each dose is likely to be just a few dollars (although I would expect that in the UK it will be free). However, watch out for price-gouging from for-profit healthcare companies. I'm hoping to be offered my jab in October, and I will gladly accept it.


  1. For fun, I have read your recent scientifically-wanting politically-motivated monologues about this Covid virus

    You claim to be some kind of STEM graduate, so have you ever reflected on how the UK would have reacted a coronavirus epidemic in the 1970s? .... The answer is not at all, for three main reasons:-

    (i) The Covid-19 virus could not have been identified rapidly enough, if at all. Most cases would have been too mild to attract attention in this season of coughs and sneezes. And the small proportion of deaths among elderly people with chronic respiratory disease would have remained much as usual for the time of year.

    (ii) It follows that there would have been no alarm or countermeasures. International trade and travel would have carried on as usual. World stock markets would not have collapsed. And governments would not have needed to get involved.

    (iii) As it is today, we know too much about the coronavirus for our own good, but almost nothing about treating its victims or preventing its spread.

    The seasonal flu deaths were worse in 2002 and 2014.

    You sir, with your ill-informed hyperbole, are part of the problem.

    1. I think that someone would have noticed that the hospitals were filled with dying people, exhibiting similar symptoms, to a MUCH greater extent than would be expected for the time of year.

      Someone would have worked out this this was a very infectious disease.

      And someone would have realised that the only method that we had of fighting it, was social distance, hand washing and face covering.

      And maybe the lockdown would have happened a week or two later, but if it had, then a lot more people would have become infected than actually did.

      And although we didn't have the internet in the 1970s, we had TV, and newspapers, and we would have seen the effects of the virus in Italy and Spain. And then in New York, because we had international air travel then.

      You sir, with your well-intentioned complacency, are part of the problem.

    2. References for any these fatuous claims?

      Quantitative references that is .. To say: "..I think it is MUCH.." does not really cut it in real science.

  2. Disease propagation models with real predictive power that are free of confirmation bias? .... combinatorial matrices anyone?

  3. SIR models anyone? See the post I did a few months ago. It turned out that the shape of the curve is just what the model predicted.

  4. Obviously , your claim to some kind of mathematical skills is a bit of a reach "Doctor" Solly.

    Months ago you "predicted" a skewed distribution?? As you think that amazingly these do not exist in nature outside of the reported Covid cases?

    You'll be inventing binomial and Gaussian distributions next..

    What next - you are going to "invent" gausuian

    1. "gausuian" No, Gaussian distribution has already been invented.

  5. You're a funny guy, "Doctor" Solly.

    You obviously do not earn an income from mathematics though, . What do you actually do? Work in a tech-support call-centre or something?

    1. I'm a programmer. But I'm not sure why you put Doctor in quotes.

  6. I put "Doctor" in quotes, to emphasise the fact that you are a phoney. PhD, my tusik.

    Your mathematical skills are demonstrably non-existent and the only opinions you espouse are regurgitated, totally uncritical, press-releases from the Manchester Guardian.

  7. 1. No, it's a real PhD.
    2. I don't read the Manchester Guardian.