The Corona Diaries – Day 468

It’s good to be home, i think?? I started the day with a physio appointment on a back problem I’ve had for a year. I was hoping for a miracle manipulation. I received an assessment of the things I can no longer do. I’m not sure I like this ageing process. Anyway, there was no magic manipulation. Instead I have three thousand exercises to carry out every day! It’s a bit like Brexit – a right pain and I have to learn to live with it!

I came back and walked up my hill.

Liz had a freak out because she found a big rat around our bird feeder. I either have to stick a big furry tail on it and tell her it’s a squirrel or put a ton of rat poison down.

To cheer myself up I’ve been playing some Small Faces – Oh La La!!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland, the controversy is hotting up! Johnson is pulling all restrictions on July 19th! The scientists are all saying it’s daft. They point to the steep rise in cases.

Johnson sees that the hospital cases are not going up very much. The scientists say that if we lift all restrictions the rise in cases will go soaring up and inevitably the unvaccinated will go down with it.

The hardline Tories don’t give a fuck – as long as there’s money to be made!!

Of course, Johnson is doing it to curry favour. He’s taking another risk! He just likes popularity!! (Whatever the cost!). I reckon there will be some interesting fights break out over this! Leave it all to personal choice!! Half the population haven’t got a clue!!

It’s a question of immunising enough to achieve herd immunity – but that will require doing the kids. They should get jabbed because they are in danger of long covid and have a duty towards the society they are part of. One of the main problems is the antivaxxers. They are slowing things down because they are very vulnerable.

The big surge in cases when we lift all restrictions will not only put any unvaccinated at risk but will act as a breeding factory for variants. Sooner or later we’re going to get a variant that will evade the vaccines. The more unvaccinated kids and antivaxxers the greater risk to us all.

I for one, despite being double vaccinated, will avoid public transport, wear masks inside, socially distance and not go to any crowded events. I’ll try to keep my risks at a reasonable level!

Having said that – we travelled to Cornwall when that was worst in the country and have come back to Yorkshire where the virus has surged by 150% in the last week! I think we’re acting as a magnet!!

Stay Safe!!!

6 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 468

  1. Mmmm… I don’t like this “aging” thing much, either.

    I’ve been adding some new graphs in to my “magic spreadsheets,” so I can now show hospital and ICU occupancy against levels of new cases. It’s clear that the proportion of UK COVID cases needing hospitalization or ICU has been going down steadily since February, as has the proportion of deaths per case (since December). How much of this is down to the vaccines, and how much to the people who are getting the thing now being generally younger and healthier than those who got it earlier, remains to be seen. It also looks as if the rate of increase of cases may have gone down a bit over the last few days – I’ll give it a few days before I try to say categorically “it is slowing down” or “it isn’t.” Expect a new COVID paper probably early next week.

    As I’ve said before, Johnson is in a cleft stick of his own making on this one. Whatever he does, it will turn out to have been wrong. SAGE, as always, will be pushing him to lock down as soon and as hard as possible; but if he does that, he will totally blow his popularity. July 19th is already dangerously close to the start of school summer holidays.

    One of the difficulties in predicting what will happen (medically, not politically!) is that we simply don’t know how many people have had the thing and recovered from it, but were never counted as cases. Either because they were asymptomatic, and didn’t have any reason to be tested; or because (as in my case) they had it and recovered from it before there were even tests available to the general public. I’ve looked around for figures on these, but the estimates seem to be so variable that they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. One source says that up to the end of March 2020, only 4 per cent of infections in England were actually registered as cases (!) Another says that you should add 28 per cent to the case count to allow for asymptomatic infections. Whichever, I suspect we won’t find out the true value until we actually hit herd immunity.

    According to my initial figures, only about 41 per cent of people in the UK are susceptible to infection now (assuming the vaccines are 95% effective, or half of that after one jab). From that, you need to subtract the asymptomatic cases and the early recoveries. So we should be seeing an R-rate of 40% or less of what it was at the peak of the epidemic. That ratio right now is about 47%; suggesting that the vaccines don’t do much, if anything, to stop the spread of the virus. They only reduce the severity of its effects.

    Anyway, avoiding public transport and not going to any crowded events look like very sensible things to be doing!

    1. Interesting Neil. I agree with you. Johnson is in a cleft stick. He is a politician. And a very bad one.
      The evidence I have been reading is that there is doubt over the ongoing immunity provided by having had the virus. The immune response is weaker than that induced by vaccination. It fades quite rapidly. Perhaps six months is the limit. A lot of people are getting the illness a second time – and more severely! That means that all those people who contracted it early are now very vulnerable.
      As the country opens up the risks increase for the unvaccinated. The rise in cases is alarming because of the long covid that so many seem to be going down with.
      I haven’t seen any info about the level of immune response in asymptomatic people.
      I suspect we still have a lot to learn about this virus.

  2. Well, I’m not so sure about lots of people getting COVID twice. The BBC covered this fairly well 6 months ago: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52446965. And this is more recent: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25033395-200-you-can-catch-covid-19-twice-but-the-second-bout-is-likely-to-be-mild/. You need a subscription to see the whole thing, but the first three paragraphs tell all. I’ve read that about one person in 1,000 who has had COVID once has got it a second time – and that’s with all the different variants flying about.

    1. I can’t find much about it. It is not something that is generally focused on by the media. My younger sister has had it twice. The second time was very nasty and had symptoms for months. .

      1. It is not something that is generally focused on by the media.

        Yes, exactly. They don’t want us to know, do they? But the Telegraph and the Economist have recently given the opposite spin to the New Scientist article I linked to. Raising fear – as usual.

        My commiserations to your sister. But did she have symptoms the first time? Or did she just take a test that came out positive? There were a lot of false positives among the PCR tests in the middle part of last year.

      2. She had the symptoms early on but as it was early was not tested. She then went down with it again 6 months later (she works in Care Homes and so was exposed).
        My elder son and his wife had it last summer (he’s a nurse practitioner). He works with a lot of very ill people and is very vulnerable but he’s been double vaccinated now so should be OK.

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