We have a new Health Secretary after Matt Hancock was forced to resign because he ignored the rules that he has imploring everyone else to follow. Sahid Javid takes over in England as the cases are climbing about 50% per week.
Cases are rising faster in Scotland and it looks like the surge in Cornwall due mainly to the G7 conference is leveling out. Javid says he is determined to ease lockdown restrictions on or even before the 19th of July and “the country will have to learn to live with virus, and easing will be ‘irreversible’“
So how about the ensuing deaths?
We can see from the cases chart that the new cases in Scotland bottomed in the first week in May, The Deaths chart shows the deaths bottoming out around the third week. I estimate there is about an eighteen day lag between the new cases and deaths. Scotland is now showing a death rate of 3.5 per million of population per week. Eighteen days ago the new case rate was about 1000 per million of population which suggests a mortality rate of 0.35%. In mid July we would expect the death rate in Scotland to be over the 10 per million per week or 50 total deaths per week. England’s rate per million should be half of Scotland’s and total deaths could be around 250 per week.
It looks like Javid will accept this. He probably hopes that the mortality, which was 10 times higher before the vaccine rollout will go down even further as we gradually vaccinate the entire population.
He may be right. But we know that the vaccine does not give complete immunity to the virus as Andrew Marr testifies. He (and we) may be lucky and as the virus spreads freely around the country it may not spawn a new vaccine resistant mutation.
But I am sure that “easing will be ‘irreversible” until it needs to be reversed.
Which will be when the government begins to fear the outcome on its election prospects.