The Corona Diaries – Day 488

Here I am – 486 days later – still isolating, still not having had the virus. Who could have predicted that a year and a half ago??

I look back on life before Covid; it was so easy going, so free and easy. The thought of disease was a distant consideration. Now we are aware all the time. It’s as if covid has intruded into every crevice of our lives. You pass people on the street and you automatically move out of the way. You go into a shop, put on your mask. You are weighing up every risk. It has intruded into every aspect. We hardly see friends and relatives. We have just started to meet up and go out and Freedom Day has put us back inside the house.

Our life has become a bubble. What was liberating and energising has become depressing. Our lives have slipped into a routine!! Not great!

Today I have been editing, sorting photos and working on layout for the second Harper book. I’m not sure any non-writer would understand the sheer number of hours that go into producing a book. Sometimes you spend hours on some trivial bit. It gets frustrating but I enjoy it. I enjoy immersing myself in a project, solving problems and writing. Being creative is not a bad way to spend your life.

The antidote to Tories.

It’s been a joy listening to Pete Green again. Where would we be without music?

I’ve taken to working most of the day and then taking a late afternoon walk. It’s more productive that way. It was very pleasant up my hill with the butterflies, bees and flowers.

Meanwhile, out in coronaland where the clown plays with power all is not so good. Brexit is ripping the union apart and loading us up with red tape, costing us a fortune and putting people out of work. A price worth paying?? No way!! Covid has decimated the economy, killed a hundred and thirty thousand and changed our whole universe. We are no longer free to travel or go to gigs. Everything requires thinking through.

It makes me furious to see how poorly both of this major events have been handled and the lack of culpability. I think these morons who have been leading us into the valley of death need locking up and stripping of all they own. They have been disastrous. What makes me even angrier is that a good percentage of the population have been utterly taken in by their propaganda machine and think they have done OK.


The good news is that the daily number of cases appears to be going down. I remain skeptical. I think all this mingling will cause the rate to rise. The vaccination levels are having a big effect – but even so. I’ll watch with interest and remain in isolation. I think the effect of the easing of restrictions will take a while to come through. One worrying trend is that a lot of young people are becoming seriously ill in hospital. The Johnson variant, previously known as the Indian variant, that he deliberately allowed into the country in a vain attempt to get a trade deal with India, is much more serious and is causing havoc.

What a lazy imbecile this PM is!! He didn’t even secure a deal!! How many billion has that blunder cost us?

We are now widely seen by the world as a breeding ground for new variants – a high rate of infection and partially vaccinated population. They’ll hold us to blame if something new and devastating grows out of this experiment. It’s dicing with death.

The cost of Johnson’s blunders will have the country paying for decades – and I bet I know which stratas of society will pick up the bill!!

Stay safe!!! Johnson has it sorted!! Ha ha!!

4 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 488

  1. Opher, I just chased down your Day 1 report: You should read it again! You were spot on about a lot of the things that would go wrong; but you underestimated the length, nastiness and dishonesty of what has actually happened.

    Yet, I feel quite differently from you now. Bear in mind that, when you wrote your “day 1” report, I had recovered from COVID fully five weeks earlier. I’ve never been one to get physically close and intimate without good reason, so for me “social distancing” wasn’t a problem once the “distance” had been reduced to 1 metre. (Before that, it was ridiculous. People were walking in the middle of the road – I was nearly run over by an electric car coming from behind me and turning left across me – and it took 45 minutes of queuing to get into Sainsbury’s). But masks, for me, have been a sore trial. Since last Monday, I’ve noticed that while many people are still wearing masks in shops, almost no-one with a beard is wearing a mask.

    Unlike you, I feel way better since “freedom day.” Oh, I know the politicians aren’t doing this for our freedom – they’re doing it because, unless and until the economy is re-energized, the government will continue on its accelerating slide towards bankruptcy. And I’m as cynical as you are about new cases dropping off; I suspect they made it their business to call in as many provisional (not yet certain) cases by Friday 16th as they possibly could. But if the cases continue to fall over the next week, it might even represent the “turn of the tide” against the virus.

    Don’t worry; I’m watching the stats, and you’ll be among the first to know what I find.

    1. Gosh that was interesting to see what I had written back then. Thanks for chasing that up I hadn’t thought of doing that. I might have to reblog that with a little foreword. I wasn’t so angry then. The full extent of the government’s incompetence hadn’t hit home.
      I have a beard and I don’t mind masks. I’ve got so used to them that I sometimes don’t remember to take it off when I come out of a shop. The worst thing is when it steams up your glasses.
      I will look forward to seeing where this is all going and reading your analysis. I don’t think it is tailing off yet. Not enough of the population have been vaccinated yet and the immunity will be wearing off with many. There are still many people for the virus to jump to.
      Cheers Neil.

      1. I took a data dump from last Friday, and there isn’t enough data yet to tell for sure where we are headed in the UK. But the news from Czechia (the country which is, probably, closest to herd immunity in Europe) looks quite good; smoothed new daily cases are now in the 200s per day (as against the 12,000s at the peak of the epidemic). They were going up until about 2 weeks ago, but have been going down again since, without any change in lockdown status. I think I’ll take another dump of next Friday’s data, and see if I can get something more definite from that.

        What I did find out from the latest data dump was a bit more about European lockdowns. I found a small bug in my face mask lockdown calculations; it was under-estimating the degree of lockdown in many countries, and missing altogether those countries which had fully locked down on face masks. Having fixed the bug and re-run the calculations, small increases in face mask lockdown levels still show up as having a worsening effect, but the effect isn’t as big as I had thought. If you go all the way to a full lockdown (requiring masks unconditionally everywhere outside the home), the effect of face mask mandates seems to be comparable with full lockdowns on workplaces, travel restrictions or border closures.

        Another interesting thing I found was that, when you scatterplot average excess mortality over the epidemic against average lockdown levels, there is almost no trend at all. But if you replace the average lockdown levels as calculated by the Blavatnik algorithm with my custom “harshness” measure, which assigns more weight to lockdown measures which hit everyone than to those which hit only some, suddenly you get a positive trend! Meaning that lockdowns that are subjectively “harsher” on the people actually make things worse than other measures of comparable stringency which are less subjectively harsh!

      2. Fascinating Neil. It is interesting to see the effects of these measures on the stats and compare that to the biological knowledge of how viruses spread. Keep at it Neil.

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