Posted: 12 May 2020 in Covid-19
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I’m trying to work this out for myself, too.

There’s calls for more of it.  With each unveiling of a bit more detail, we want more.  Can I go to work – I could it seems, but as I can get by at home, I won’t go in.  Can I drive 8 miles to see my daughter – I could, but I’ll have to stand at 2 meters.  So I can go for a jog very soon, and pop out to post a later to catch the post.  As of tomorrow – yes.  And from tomorrow, my chum Luke can install electrical improvements, as well as doing emergency repairs.  Need more “clarity”?


The numbers
C19 daily 3 nations.jpgDo the numbers need more clarity?  We are being told so.  But they are what we’ve got, and there is a tale still to be told. In Italy and Spain (and even more so France and Germany) the numbers are declining (see graph 1).  Daily new infections in UK are not going down much.  There is a good reason for this.  We have a new aggressive testing strategy in the last couple of weeks, confirming infections that would have been just “good guesses”.

C19 daily trend.jpgThese new additions masks the decline, if we had comparable figures.  We have had 220,000 tested and recorded infections in UK, and I forecast we will have another 90,000 (see graph 2). Our grand total in this wave will be circa 310,000.  Higher than the 250,000 I had forecast on 28th March.

The death figures
C19 deaths 3 nations.jpgDeath figures have their own “clarity” critics.  Aren’t we told this so so often, as if some folk do not want us to look and get the broader picture.  Numbers of deaths are clearly declining for us and other countries. But as graph 3 shows, our peak was higher and is running down, true, but still remains high.

C19 death trend.jpg

We have had over 32,000 recorded deaths in UK, and I forecast we will have another 9,000 (not the 90,000 typo of yesterday). See graph 4. The UK grand total in this wave will be over 40,000, alas.  Higher than the 30<33,000 I had forecast on 23 April.


What to expect by 1st June and 4/5th July
The worst is clearly past, in terms of numbers.  But for you or me, there could be something nasty to come, and we need to take care.  The Government is offering the prospect of Stage 2 on 1st June.  Schools and some non-essential shops opening. The average number of infections in the last week to todays’ Stage 1 has been 4600 per day.  By Stage 2 on 1st June, I am expecting the week to that date to be averaging 1700 per day.  A very good drop, but nasty if you are in that number.  And for the bigger let up on Stage 3?  By 4th/5th July – we could be down to 200 per day (see graph 2).

The call for “Clarity”
There has been a tremendous call for clarity from all corners.  Political, regional, trade unions, trade associations, Joe Public.  This one word aggregates very different meanings.  For instance:

  • Some of this is political distancing. As the Government slips and stumbles, political parties and factions put distance between themselves and a possible politically bad outcome.  Like with Blair after Iraq or Eden after Suez, there is beginning a standing back to avoid the splash following the fall.
  • As for the nitty gritty of work arrangements. Chambers of commerce and trade unions both want more details to protect their members.  Protection from sickness.  But also protection from litigation under health and safety negligence, invalidation of insurance or corporate manslaughter.
  • Public anxiety driven desire to be spoon-fed. A fearful unwillingness to take on personal responsibility, or personally think through the issues.  It even feels like a juvenile cry – “are we there yet?”  To be honest, I feel that a bit too.  Which is why I have done these graphs, these blogs – now I know we are “not there yet” and so I can pace myself.

We must ask the nitty gritty questions.  We must expect answers, but not necessarily instantly.  As for the politics, this is not the re-emergence of normal politics, but a distancing from the cabinet view, in case there is a mighty fall.  And as for “are we there yet” cries for clarity, goodness. We must think how Stages 1, 2, 3 work for ourselves.  This is complex.  This is not over.  We have to adapt to Slow-Let-Up as we did in Quick-Lock-Down.


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