The Corona Diaries – Day 306

It’s just another day in lockdown – more of the same – monotonous – unchanging. The days are all the same. Nothing changes!

It is a bit sapping.

Never-the-less I went and did my 306 consecutive five mile walk. I walked up my hill. It was cold and a bit overcast. Nature is asleep.

Back home I’ve been playing some Peter Green Fleetwood Mac. So good.

I’m reading Terry Pratchett and Yuval Noah Harari. They make a good combination!

Out in Coronaland it’s a mixed message. They say the R rate is coming down but there were 40,261 new cases yesterday, slightly up on the day before. The deaths were 1401 yesterday – again up on the day before. We have now 96,000 deaths and in a few days time we’ll top 100,000! We are the worst in the world and not getting any better!!

It’s the same in the USA. Trump has left an ethos that is killing people. They had 191,912 new cases with 3734 more deaths. It’s going to take a lot to change it around.

The vaccination programme is rolling out. It is giving people hope but it’s not going to be a panacea. No vaccine is 100% effective.

The two big talking points is the controversy over the second Pfizer shot. The government has opted to delay the second shot in order to quickly vaccinate more. The unanswered question is whether the first jab gives enough protection on its own and if delaying the second jab compromises the immunity?

Time will tell.

The second area of discussion is whether the various variants are going to cause major problems. The British variant not only appears to be much more contagious but also more deadly. That’s not good news but at least the word is that the vaccine seems to work on it. That does not seem to be the case with the South African variant. The vaccine might not work against that. That’s really bad news. If that variant gets into the country the vaccine is useless. Hence the panic and sudden shutting down of borders (something they should have done a year ago!).

They say it’s OK – the vaccine can be easily tweaked.

By the end of a year or two we could be like pin cushions!

It seems to me that the only way to deal with this is to vaccinate the whole world and get rid of any reservoir of the virus.

Chin up!!! Stay safe!!

14 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 306

  1. Last time I updated my magic spreadsheets (with data up to last Monday) the R rate was indeed coming down, but still well above 1. The cases, on the other hand, were falling quite steadily. BTW, it’s not much use comparing daily case counts – there’s a weekly reporting cycle in the UK, new cases tend to peak on Saturday, trough on Monday and rise through the rest of the week. You need to look at the weekly average (check “7-day moving average” on Worldometers) to get a better picture.

    And the UK isn’t (quite) the worst in the world in deaths per million. It is fourth equal now (after being about 10th a couple of months ago) among countries with populations bigger than a million. Behind Belgium, Slovenia and the Czech Republic (as was), and level with Italy. Very interestingly though, Gibraltar has shot up to third place among all countries in that particular horrible metric. The Gibraltar Health Authority says it “uses a healthcare model closely linked to the NHS.” That suggests that the root of the problem may lie in the politicization of medicine, not so much in which particular criminal gang happens to be in power.

    Anyway, today down here it’s been bright sunshine, but really cold. Felt much colder than the 4 degrees they claimed. Snow forecast for tomorrow – first of the winter here. Roll on, spring – if not also roll on, “global warming!”

      1. You seem to forget, Opher, that I used to live in Holland – 8 metres below sea level. The Dutch know how to deal with the sea level rise problem. They got caught out by the big storm in 1953, but they won’t let that happen again.

        In any case, at 3 millimetres per year, even at your own 10 metres above sea level you still (unless there’s a lot of land subsidence going on) have a few centuries before there’s anything to worry about.

      2. They thought that in New Orleans too Neil.
        I’m not worried for myself Neil. We won’t be flooded like the thousands of others. The main damage won’t be happening in my lifetime. There will be irreversible changes that will lead to catastrophic events though. We are already seeing in. Heatwaves, record temperatures, storms, bush fires, droughts, floods, species migrations, and mass migrations of people from areas no longer habitable.

  2. The main reason New Orleans 2005 was so bad was because of long-term failings in the building and maintenance of their flood defences.

    All the things you mention happen from time to time. In particular, you can expect “record” temperatures (at least on the decadal scale) every so often, because it’s been gradually warming for around 350 years. But I don’t see evidence – hard evidence – of any mass migrations of people caused by climate changes, or of the other things getting worse over time. Nor do I see any proof that the consequences in the future would be catastrophic, or could not be protected against. Nor even proof that any bad things that might happen will have been caused by human emissions of CO2. (Climate models are not evidence; and most of all, climate models, that have not had their predictions tested against reality as the scientific method demands, are not evidence).

    I’m starting to wonder why is it that so many people like you, Opher, seem to be so fearful about the human future. Why do you always make everything out to be so bad? What is it that you are afraid of? You must feel it pretty strongly, otherwise you wouldn’t be supporting green laws to take away other people’s chances of prosperity, freedoms and happiness. I could understand, perhaps, if you could actually produce some hard evidence for your alarmist claims; but it seems that you can’t. There’s something psychologically very odd going on in a lot of people’s minds, including yours. And I’m scratching my beard – which, by now, is approaching lockdown length again – trying to work out what it is.

    In other news, the snow seems to have been and gone. On the local forecast, the Met Office are “predicting” fog for this hour with a max temp of 1 degree, whereas in fact it’s partly sunny, and little blocks of snow are falling off the trees, meaning it has to be some way above zero. I suppose that level of forecasting is considered good enough for government work!

    Time to go for a walk, anyway.

    1. I don’t want to take away anybody’s prosperity, freedom or happiness. I want to ensure that they have all those things for longer. The move to sustainable energy does not rob people of anything. It provides a slew of far better jobs than dirty mining. It provides people with clean air for themselves and their children. It will be cheaper that dirty old technology.
      To be able to enjoy the beauty of nature would be life-affirming.
      The damage to the environment is evident for all to see. the population crashes are obvious.
      Everything is done with modelling now Neil. You’e a bit of a Luddite.

      1. The move to sustainable energy does not rob people of anything.

        That may be what you think, Opher. But I’ve just a couple of minutes ago completed my analysis of Johnson’s “green industrial revolution.” I intended it to be the first part of a major three-part essay. But it grew so big, that I decided to release the first part stand-alone. I’ll review it tonight, and put it on my little blog tomorrow. I think it counter-indicates your statement.

        Everything is done with modelling now Neil.

        And to what effect? The 2008 financial crash was caused by “the money men,” as I call them (and I don’t mean it nicely), believing and acting on their financial models. You, I and everyone (except the political class and their cronies) have paid, and are still paying for, that. And by the way, I’m a realist, not a Luddite. It’s the political class that are today’s Luddites!

        In other news, the walk wasn’t practicable – too much slush. So, I went to get the car out, to do a chore that required carrying a heavy load. It took me 45 minutes to get 200 yards to the road! Even though the first person to go out from my block of flats had already gritted the “drive,” such as it is. I had to be helped by a family who came walking by. Now, that’s what I call “civil society.” I have many times done similar things for others, and that’s how we should live together. Mutual assistance, not using politics to tell the “little people” what to do.

        And I’ll put my question to you a second time, Opher. What is it that you fear so much, that you feel a need to forcibly control other people in order to forestall it?

      2. Neil – I do not want to forcibly control people at all. I want to tackle the two major environmental issues that we face before they destroy us. Nature is being systematically wrecked.
        The biodiversity situation is horrendous. Habitat and animals are being wiped out at an alarming rate. It is causing catastrophic effects on ecosystems and as we are dependent on those ecosystem it will eventually lead to our own demise.
        The climate change created by global warming is also going to prove disastrous. The evidence is overwhelming.
        The financial crash was not caused by modelling at all. It was caused by people selling on useless portfolios. It was greed not modelling.

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