Covid Spreading Faster Than U.K. Scientists' Worst-Case Scenario
Comment of the Day

October 30 2020

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Covid Spreading Faster Than U.K. Scientists' Worst-Case Scenario

This article by Alex Morales for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“In England, we are breaching the number of infections and hospital admissions in the Reasonable Worst Case planning scenario” for the winter, the Oct. 14 conclusions of the panel’s sub-group that deals with modeling the pandemic said in one of the papers.

“The number of daily deaths is now in line with the levels in the Reasonable Worst Case and is almost certain to exceed this within the next two weeks.”

And

Johnson has introduced a three-tier approach where regions with the highest infection rates face tougher social-distancing rules, including a ban on household mixing and closing pubs that don’t sell substantial meals. Officials are considering an extra tier that would force restaurants and non-essential shops to close, newspapers including the Guardian reported on Friday.

Nottinghamshire was the latest area to enter the highest tier on Friday, while West Yorkshire will move to the same alert level from Monday. That will take the total number of people in England under the toughest restrictions to just over 11 million, or 19.6% of the population, according to the Press Association.

There was some good news for the government on Friday: the so-called R rate, reflecting the number of people each positive coronavirus case infects, declined to an estimated 1.1 to 1.3 from 1.2 to 1.4 a week earlier. But any number above 1 still indicates the virus is spreading exponentially.
 

Eoin Treacy's view

If the number of deaths is trending higher, as certainly appears to be the case, then it is reasonable to conclude we are seeing a second wave. The case load appears to be rising quicker than the increased number of tests allows for. That is putting upward pressure on the number of hospitalisations and deaths. Governments are not about to back away from their playbooks so remedial action in the form of additional lockdowns is almost certain. We are seeing that in Europe now.       

This interview of Mike Yeadon makes the point that 2nd waves don't occur and that the massive movement of people after World War I contributed to the impression that pandemic had a 2nd wave. Perhaps the lockdowns did in fact slow the spread and therefore just prolong the inevitable herd immunity. The list of measures taken to date suggest economies will conitnue to be sacrifieced until a vaccine is approved, regardless of any other argument. To admit fault would be political suicide. 

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