Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 29 November, 2020


I hope you are having – or should I now say “did have” a lovely Thanksgiving, however you arranged it.

I had to smile on Friday – my daughter and I were out walking our dog with one of her girlfriends, her friend’s mother, and their dog too.  The mother was asking me for my advice, tearfully – she thought her elderly parents no longer liked her.  They didn’t want to come for Thanksgiving, and when she prevailed upon them to come, they only stayed Thursday night and left early Friday morning.

I tried to explain to her that her parents, in their 80s, probably were quite anxious about being in a home with six people – a physician who works in a high risk hospital, two children who are still physically attending school every day, two older children, and their daughter – because of the virus prevalence.  Astonishingly, this had not occurred to the woman, even though she has a doctorate in microbiology.

It seems that “Covid blindness” cuts across all demographics.  So if you too were troubled by having fewer people at your Thanksgiving festivities, that is probably why.

Talking about having fewer people participating, can I use that as a clumsy segue into a reminder that we are in the middle of this year’s annual Travel Insider fundraising drive.  I’m hoping to 400 people will choose to become a Travel Insider Supporter, and currently there are 287 people who have done so.

Can I ask you to become number 288?  Please, at this time of appreciating and being thankful for the good things in our lives, if you consider The Travel Insider to be one of the good things in your life – and I surely hope you do – could I ask you to “carve a few slices of turkey” for me too, in an electronic abstract form, by becoming a Travel Insider Supporter.  Just a few quick clicks and responses, and you’ll have truly helped keep The Travel Insider alive and well for its next year.  Plus that means you’ll get to see all of today’s diary entry, have access to the pre-publication version of my upcoming book “The Covid Survival Guide”, and access to other bonus content sprinkled around the site as well.

Thank you.

I would urge you to consider my book, especially if you already have access to it as a supporter.  Even though there are now vaccines “just around the corner” (ie maybe in the first quarter, probably in the second, and definitely in the third quarter of next year) we’re moving into very tough territory at present – this article says daily deaths are expected to double in the near future.   My book includes 91 pages on how to avoid getting infected, plus 110 pages on what to do if you are infected, to minimize your risk of the infection becoming severe or possibly fatal, and another 200 pages crammed full of other helpful virus related information too.

The official “do nothing, stay at home, rest, and drink lots of fluids” response from the CDC is laughably inadequate, as was shown when President Trump was immediately given a wide range of different treatments (and then recovered extremely quickly, even though he is elderly and overweight).  But – as people who have had the virus tell me – trying to find a doctor to suggest what active measures you can take is very difficult.  My book might materially improve your chances of both avoiding and, if necessary, surviving the virus.

Still on the topic of advice about the virus, this is an excellent must read article.  It starts off strongly by pointing out the tapestry of contradictions in the current mare’s nest of restrictions and regulations about what you can do and not do.  These are not only contradictions between different jurisdictions, but within a single jurisdiction.  For example, why did states urge people not to meet for Thanksgiving dinners in their homes, while still allowing restaurants to stay open?  Why are businesses closed but schools open?  (These two examples are both in NYC.)  Why, in RI, are you not allowed to invite a single person into your home, but you can have a meeting of up to 25 people in a restaurant?

The article unsurprisingly asserts that no part of what we’re doing makes any sense at all.  Unfortunately, the article then takes the easy way out and instead of pressing the public health authorities about their illogical inconsistencies, the article says it is all President Trump’s fault.

It will become a lot harder to write articles like than on 22 January….

I mentioned, above, how the CDC is studiously “not seeing” the growing wellspring of data about the many different early-exposure treatments, some of which have official status as approved care actions in other countries.  This is a stunning failure on the CDC’s part.  Even when the “Hail Mary” vaccines finally get out there, we know not everyone will be vaccinated, and not every vaccinated person will be protected from infection.  We need to have effective low-cost treatments and cures every bit as much as we need vaccines, and we will still need treatments after vaccines have been made available for all.

So it is great to see that other countries and other entities are still pressing on with treatments as well as with vaccines.

Current Numbers

I added some more data to the three international tables, showing the actual rates for the top and bottom listed countries in each of the three tables.  That helps us see, for example, that ND’s case rate (10% of the state have now been infected) is worse than that of any country in the world, and the same for NJ’s death rate.

It is also interesting to see the enormous spread even between 1st and 10th in the three international tables, and the huge spread between best and worst in the US state tables.

Panama reappears on the minor country list, Italy on the major country list, and France on the death rate list.  It isn’t only the US that is being recidivist at present.

US Best and Worst States

Rank Cases/Million Deaths/Million
Last time Now Last time Now
1 Best VT (6,133) VT (6,571) VT (103) VT (107)
51 Worst ND (100,309) ND (103,217) NJ (1,920) NJ (1,928)


Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Andorra Andorra (86,813)
2 Bahrain Montenegro
3 Montenegro Luxembourg
4 Luxembourg Bahrain
5 Qatar French Polynesia
6 French Polynesia Qatar
7 Aruba San Marino
8 Armenia Armenia
9 San Marino Aruba
10 French Guiana Panama (37,639)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Belgium Belgium (49,476)
2 Czech Republic Czech Republic
4 Spain Spain
5 France France
6 Argentina Argentina
7 Peru Netherlands
8 Brazil Brazil
9 Netherlands Peru
10 Chile Portugal
11 Portugal Chile
12 Colombia Italy (26,234)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Belgium Belgium (1,418)
2 Peru Peru
3 Spain Spain
4 Italy Italy
5 Argentina UK
6 UK Argentina
7 Brazil USA
8 USA Mexico
9 Chile Brazil
10 Mexico France (801)


The rest of this newsletter is for the very kind Travel Insider Supporters – it is their support that makes all of this possible, and it seems fair they get additional material in return.  If you’re not yet a Supporter, please consider becoming one, and get instant access to the rest of the Diary Entry, to our 400+ page book on the virus, and much extra content on other parts of the website too.

If you’re a contributor, you should make sure you’re logged in, and when you are, you’ll see the purple text and balance of the newsletter below.  If you’re not logged in, or reading this via email, you need to log in on the website first.

Items below include several new studies on how safe it is to fly, a new study on the benefits of mask wearing, a dissection of the Bloomberg ranking of 53 countries in terms of their virus resilience, a Bird Flu outbreak that hopefully won’t become a problem for us, the possibility of reducing the 14 day quarantine time, and a strange new side-effect of long-term virus infections.





Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Sunday.

Please click here for a listing of all our Covid-19 articles.


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