Mid Lockdown

We are in a sorry state thanks to government delays and inaction.
The lockdown is impacting the rate of increase in the spread of the virus,  but, in England, has not yet resulted in a decrease. Deaths continue to increase following the increases in cases 2-3 weeks ago. they should level out soon at around 500 per day.

The most optimistic outlook is that the deaths start decreasing NOW.  But, even with the much stricter condition in the first lock down the reductions were only about 4% per day.

This would imply that deaths would be at around 200 per day by the time we come out of lockdown on 2nd December – i.e. similar to the figures as we entered lockdown, but reducing instead of increasing. 

Even if the reduction continued after lockdown ends we would still be showing around 100 deaths per day by Christmas.

But these are very optimistic estimates.  The deaths are not decreasing yet, and as the schools and universities are still open, the reduction figure will be less than 4%. We may not even see a reduction. In December students will carry the virus back home.

The figures

 Northern Ireland’s cases appeared reduce around 22nd October and have continued to fall. 27 days later and the death rate is not falling.

Wales showed a reduction in cases starting 3rd November, but this has yet to have an impact on the death rate. which is still increasing rapidly

Scotland’s cases have been quite steady since 15th October, but no effect on the death rate which continues to increase 32 days later.

England’s cases show reduction in the rate of increase at the beginning of November but rate of increase of deaths have yet to decrease.

In all four nations we have yet to see a reduction in the rate of increase of the death rate following corresponding reductions in the number of cases.  That we don’t, could be due to :-

  1. We have a problem with the way we measure the number of cases, or

  2. The cases are moving from the young to the older where the mortality is higher. This will be the case if the government have let the virus run rampant in carehomes again. It will also be the case when the students return home for Christmas.

  3. The case – to death time is more complex.  A surge in cases in the young is followed a few weeks later by a surge in cases in the old and vulnerable, which is then inevitably followed by a surge in deaths

With the schools and universities still open we may not see a reduction in the deaths at all, and if we do it will be small and slow. The fact that we are approaching winter AND the festive season makes the prospect of a significant reduction of the pandemic in the UK before the spring quite remote.

As regards other countries, France and Italy are struggling worse than we are, Germany is at the state we were 2 weeks before our lockdown and have intruced restriction which may last 4-5 months.

In Victoria, Australia, which was really struggling a couple of months ago, they have had 17 consectutive days with no new cases. Some restrictions are still in place..

The UK continues to muddle on, always late, and never enough.  The economic consequences will be very severe for most of us. But the government is ensuring that it’s buddies are doing well from the pandemic.