Hunting The Jab

Posted: 11 January 2021 in Covid-19
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The Jab, it could be yours.
(c) Getty Images

Lot of chatter about The Jab: Jane’s had both but Saul a mile away has had none, did you know that Downton General Hospital are offering it to anyone over 70 who turns up; Liz & Phil are over 90 and have only just had the first dose (that Windsor GP must be asleep); no! keep awake!, my friend called me in the evening for a quickie[i]. And all such conversations are greeted with astonishment.

Announcements in the Autumn talked of doses at 1 million a week with a view to vaccinating all over 65 by Easter.  This would have meant 13.5 million people getting two jabs over 15 weeks, assuming the process started before Christmas.  Approximately 1.8 million jabs a week

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Darkest Before Dawn

Posted: 29 December 2020 in Covid-19
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Tackling Covid-19 is an uphill task. (c) The Times newspaper (UK)

Darkest before dawn – sums it up for Covid, especially for us in UK.  A highly spreading new variant is running amok, at the same time as new vaccines come on stream ð so what can we expect in the New Year?  After increasing the complexity of the model, this is my latest forecast[i].

We all know that Lockdown 2 gave a two week respite at the end of November, but now the new infection numbers are far higher than ever before (see graph1).  Terrible, yes – but note, France and Italy have recently experienced numbers like these, which have since slipped back from terrible to merely(?) bad.  This is uncharted territory for the Government, and for us all. We must expect further restrictions (more below).

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Overdone – Or not over yet?  Opinions differ and many are talking liberties with the law.  Let us consider the numbers.  This is the blog that can look at the long term and have a guess at the final figures.

UK daily Covid 19 infections in recent months.  Big jump since August

Infections have exploded across UK and rest of Europe for the last three months.  They are now falling, but are still high.  It is worth bearing in mind that when Lockdown 1 ended, UK infections were ~3000 daily, not around 15,000 now, as Lockdown 2 draws to an end.

However, vaccinations are on their way, and so normal days will return after.  But how soon after?  We are told to expect vaccinations to start in December, but the massive numbers not till mid January.  Nevertheless there are 10.4 million over 65s and all these could be vaccinated before Easter, reducing infections by 35% and deaths by 89%.  The post Lockdown 2 improvement and benefits of the initial vaccinations will be will be offset by the Covid surge following the six day Christmas mixing.  Yes, expect a spike in Jan/Feb.

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UK-Haiti. J speaks, but do the other 6 listen?

“Sorry to have another Zoom folks, so I’ll try and keep this one short.  I know some of you are fatigued of being on screens all day” etc, said the convener.  Is this a great opener? A statement deploring the use of the best current method we have in Lockdown for keeping in touch.

Is something else is going on here?  Are some people projecting onto Zoom/Skype/WA video, their Coronavirus anxieties?  Putting their Lockdown sense of loss onto the app.  Zoom becomes a scapegoat. And even if we are inwardly OK with using it, do we disdain it as a social signal to others to say “yes I am suffering like you under Covid 19”?

From what I see, the main problems are:

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About the pandemic. Are you tuned-in and angry? Or tuned-out and switched off?  Actually, few are really tuned-out and switched off. I hear a lot of distressed voices, and life prevents many from switching off.  Joe[i] tells me on the phone that his sister-in-law has died.  It was unexpected.  And because of the pandemic, everything is so so much more difficult to deal with.  The hospitals and funerals are harder.  No flicking through the old photo albums with the wider family – grieving is harder.

And.  We forget, the base level of crotchetiness and distemper has been raised by four years of post-referendum disagreements at all levels. Quite a few are now wanting to lower the temperature of things.  So I was not surprised when folk in church started talking about “not grumbling”.  Against the frequent muttering and complaining against the Covid regulations.  Against that dripping tap that unsettles, but fails to bring action.  The failure to distinguish between Lament from Grumbling.

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