To understand what is driving the covid rates up we can have a look at the government data.
If we look at the dates just before the cases start to rise we can see the common factors.
Following a mass event like a high profile football match with a crowded stadium and crowded pubs up and down the country we see a sharp rise in cases and the cases continue to rise for around five days before dropping off. June and July were particularly bad due to a combination of the European cup and the day of protest.
Following the Scotland v England game, cases in Scotland tripled in the following three days. England’s cases doubled but continued to be ratcheted up by the day of protest and the European cup matches. It is reasonable to label these events as super spreaders.
Now the cases are dropping again. But since June 1st we have had over a million cases which will give rise to around 2500 deaths and maybe around 100,000 cases of long Covid.
Definite super spreader events are happening in Australia. The country who lags far behind in vaccinations, but is way ahead on controlling the virus spread, is experiencing mass protests in the major cities.
Cases in Australia will rise of course, but they are starting from a very low level (at least by UK standards). Most of the idiots on the anti vaccination rallies will refuse testing of course but they will pass the virus on to their friends and family. Deaths will rise too, more so than in the UK because of the larger percentage of unvaccinated people.
This weekend the Latitude Festival is taking place with 40,000 attendees. Most are unmasked and are mingling freely, but all have to show they are double vaccinated or tested negative.
Maybe the vaccines and tests will stop it being a super spreader like the football matches and the protest marches.
We should be able to see any effects on the virus over the next week.
So crucial questions are:-
- how fast does the the current variant of the virus spread without super spreader events under current restrictions?
- when is the next super spreader event?
- will the Latitude festival experiment be a success?
- are there any significantly different variants on the way?
New cases are coming down now, but that is because they were at a very high level. Super spreader events make it impossible to see what the underlying trend is. But it looks like its going up at around 50% per year on average with huge variations from week to week.
Time will tell.