The Corona Diaries – Day 358

It’s a bit damp, overcast and cold here in Yorkshire. I’ve put off my walk until this afternoon. Had a zoom meeting with friends this morning. That was fun!

This afternoon I’m going to try and get my Harper book completed! We’ll see. It has been taking a huge amount of time and energy.

I’ve been playing some Robert Johnson! Fabulous stuff. He was so good. A tragedy that he was poisoned at such an young age. He was a genius.

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland the madness continues.

The controversy over the AstraZeneca jab deepens as Spain joins, Germany, France and Italy in pausing its use. Seems daft to me and extremely politically motivated.

So far there have been over 17 million AstraZeneca jabs given in Europe. There have been 15 reported cases of blood clots in ensuing weeks and 22 cases of embolisms. That is in fact lower than you would expect in 17 million people over that time – and not one of those cases has been attributed to the vaccine.

There is something going on here. I suspect it is the ongoing bad relations between the EU and UK following Brexit.

Meanwhile, around the world, more vaccines are coming on stream. China has five now. Russia is getting out its vaccine around the world.

The sooner everyone is vaccinated the better! I can’t wait for my second shot – and after a booster in autumn to pick up the variants I will feel secure for travelling the world again.

Bolsonaro has sacked another health minister as their death-rate soars. It seems that the previous ones refused to deny it was happening and thought some action should be taken. It’s OK – the new one is a denying nincompoop who will do as he’s told and pocket the money. Bolsonaro is intent on doing his best to reduce the world population – just like Trump and Johnson.

We’re down to 5089 new cases with only 64 deaths. At this rate even Dido Harding with just £37 billion can get on top of it!

Stay safe!!

6 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 358

  1. I don’t think this has anything to do with Brexit, Opher. The first country to report these problems was Norway, and they aren’t even in the EU.

    The (cynical) suggestion I have heard is that it’s a ploy by Pfizer and/or Moderna to discredit AstraZeneca and cut their market share.

    I’ve just finished putting together the magic spreadsheets for 44 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them have not been touched much by the virus yet, compared with Europe and even South America. But that means their populations are going to be more vulnerable when the virus really starts to get in among them – as has just recently happened in the Seychelles. BTW, the Seychelles have already fully vaccinated 27% of their population, so hopefully I’ll have some more data on how effective that has been.

    1. I think it has Neil. I’ve looked at all the evidence that is available. There is no statistical evidence to support any greater risks after vaccination. With a population of 17 million one would actually expect a greater number of both embolism and clots than has been reported. There is also no greater risk from AstraZeneca than either Pfizer or Moderna. This is political. Nothing more. It comes out of Brexit and Johnson’s antagonistic attitude towards Europe.
      I think you are right. Africa is in for a big shock. They think they’ve got away with it but pandemics don’t work like that. The virus doesn’t discriminate.
      Look forward to your conclusions.

      1. You and I agree again! This is all political. And the evidence presented so far about problems with the AstraZeneca vaccine isn’t anywhere near conclusive. Though we don’t agree at the next level down, about what the politics is.

        But, we agree once more! Those who have natural advantages against a virus like this – like island communities, small scale cultures, and those with physical barriers like mountains and deserts between them and others – often start off doing really well. But they end up at, or towards, the opposite extreme. Look at Liechtenstein and Gibraltar!
        …and I wonder about Australia and New Zealand, too.

        But I’m not sure that you’re right when you say that the virus doesn’t discriminate. I suspect that, when the final tally is counted, south-east Asians, and particularly those of Chinese extraction, will have suffered less damage from the virus than anyone else. Simply because they’ve been more exposed than others to viruses similar to this one.

      2. You may be right on that Neil. The Asian exposure to SARS and MERS may well have created an immunity to Covid-19. We’ll have to see how that pans out.
        I think that countries like New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea had got themselves sorted because of the SARS and MERS. Their responses were quick and they were prepared. They monitored borders and tested so that the virus did not get loose in the country. That’s the way to go. Our blithering idiots were caught out, dithered about, panicked and have made mistake after mistake. They’ve only just started to address borders. Talk about complacency and stupidity. All part of Tory arrogance. It’s bred into them.

  2. It has absolutely nothing to do with your extremely misinformed idea as you expressed as “It comes out of Brexit and Johnson’s antagonistic attitude towards Europe.” You seemingly must have missed the last two month’s worth of EU diatribe. What’s more is Italy’s intense dislike and mistrust towards all things EU, which flies right in the face of your take, so, how are you going to try and explain their ban of A/Z? I’m afraid you’re just spouting off without accurate substance.

    As for you following comment on “address of borders”, it’s catch-22, because had they closed them immediately you’d have accused of bigotry, racism, fascism and all the usual far-left vitriol of hate.
    In fact, nobody had a bloody clue about Covid-19, and it is absolutely nothing akin to SARS or MERS, which were very low level contagions. To even compare New Zealand to the UK is simply plain daft. In 2019, 3.7 million visited New Zealand and 40.9 million to the UK, which is a factor of more than ten fold.

    1. Cheers Harry – I’ve followed it all thanks and understand it well. Including Johnson’s pathetic posturing, lying and breaking of international law.
      Their ‘temporary halt’ of the AstraZeneca vaccine is purely political. Johnson has created such a toxic relationship with his duplicity that they are reacting, rather stupidly, but in a way that will make life much harder for all of us. This ‘oven-ready’ deal is not only a lie, it’s a shambles. Project Fear is becoming reality as we drown in red tape, haemorrhage jobs with firms moving into Europe or going bust, and our economy is hit for six. No sign of a;ll these wonderful deals moving goods halfway around the world instead of Dover to Calais. Out financial centre is suffering too. Aaaah – teething problems. Like the billions already spent on lorry parks, customs buildings, bureaucrats, lawyers and an army of lorry checkers. Great stuff. Where’s this £350 million a week? Still no sign of the 5 million Turks.
      We’ll probably have a war over Gibraltar soon, or will it be about vaccines?
      We’ve made enemies out of friends, barriers out of freedom and red tape and tariffs out of free travel. Goodbye cooperation – hello emnity.
      If I was a European I’d probably kick AstraZeneca and anything else British in the sea. Not surprising really is it?

      No – you are wrong. As a scientist I would certainly have looked to the expertise. That exists in the countries with experience of SARS and MERS. But of course they are full of foreigners!! THe Eton boys know best. The superior arrogance of those born into privilege coupled with a dose of xenophobia and racism.
      Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand got it right. A handful of deaths between them while we lead the world in both deaths and economic damage.
      The first priority of any government is to keep its people safe. We’ve known about possible pandemics for decades. They even instituted their own readiness exercise – The Cygnus Exercise and report back in 2016/7 and then ignored it. They ignored the reports coming from China. They ignored the WHO. They even ignored what was going on in Italy. Then they panicked.
      They should have done what Vietnam did – health checks at the borders, testing and follow up. Keep the virus out. But they were not prepared, ignored what was going on. They were ill-prepared, dithered and allowed the virus to run riot. Then, stupidly, just when it was nearly under control, they did another stupid batch of idiotic schemes with ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ and ‘Back to work’ and caused a second wave. They’ve hived out PPE, APPs and Test and Trace to Tory donors like Dido Harding with untendered contracts to people with no experience or expertise and wasted billions. The only thing that has worked is the vaccine and that’s because they gave it to the NHS.
      What a bunch of incompetent twerps!! They’ve killed 125,000 people so far – and lied through their teet – ‘Ring of protection around the care homes’ – while dumping covid-ridden old people back into those homes.
      Don’t be daft. People know lots about Covid. I visited Hong Kong during the SARS pandemic and I had to fill in health information and contacts. I was given a temperature check and had to give full details of where I was staying. In the event of an outbreak I would have been instantly contacted and isolated. In the UK we let people in willy-nilly with no checks or idea where they were going. Lunacy.
      As a biologist I know lots about viruses, vaccines and how to contain pandemics. Unfortunately we are ruled by a bunch of extremist twerps. Hence the highest death-rate in the world.

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