Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 10 January, 2021


A quick reminder.  My Covid book goes up in price from its current “opening special” price of $4.95 to $8.95 on Monday, probably late in the day (I’m not sure how quickly Amazon adjusts prices).  While I’d be happy for you to buy it at the higher price, I’m just as happy to see it in your hands at the “opening special” price too!

The only person who ever thought we’d have vaccines approved and in distribution prior to the end of 2020 was Donald Trump.  Everyone else was much more pessimistic, and we as a nation largely accepted the preponderance of opinion that we’d have to wait until who-knows-when for vaccines.  We also all knew that when the most likely vaccines did get approved, they’d be two-step vaccines, requiring two shots several weeks apart.  This too was understood, accepted, and planned for.

The good news is that two different vaccines were approved way ahead of everyone-but-Donald-Trump’s expectations, and a third is expected to be approved soon, with more getting close to applying for approval too.  We already have several million people vaccinated.  We’re way ahead of anyone’s schedule and hopes.

So why, then, is there a seemingly irresistible pressure to break the vaccination protocol and give possibly twice as many people a single vaccine shot, while giving no-one the necessary second vaccine shot?  The vaccine makers themselves say this is a very bad idea; it is untested, and with unknown outcomes.  Why isn’t the FDA up in arms about this?  It is no stranger to activism – it banned HCQ trials on the most specious of grounds, and it has a formal testing/validation protocol for vaccines that has not been conducted for the single dose concept.  Apart from some mutterings, the FDA is not saying that vaccinators must comply with the officially approved dosage regimen.

Sure, there’s an immediate seductive appeal of getting twice as many people half-vaccinated, but what happens in a few months time when we discover that half a vaccine is no longer any better than no vaccine at all?  What happens when, instead of having possibly tens of millions of people with full protection, we now have twice as many people, but with no lasting protection, and needing a new vaccination protocol that has not yet been developed, trialed or tested.  Do they then get a full double shot, or two half strength shots, or what?  With the same spacing between the two shots or different?  Or maybe just one extra-strong shot?  Or, or, or?

That’s a bit like a student pilot first learning to take off, and as soon as he has learned that, going off to fly solo.  “Sure, it took me a few attempts to get it right taking off, and maybe it will take a few attempts to learn to land, too, but I’m sure there won’t be a problem”……

A note to all the people celebrating that Joe Biden will soon bring a rational and effective commonsense approach to managing and solving our virus problem – a comment I see repeatedly being expressed on Twitter.  This is presumably the same Joe who showed his rationality and commonsense when arguing against closing our borders, describing Trump’s 31 Jan closure as xenophobic on Feb 1, and still arguing against it and calling it xenophobic on March 18.  Even Dr Fauci agrees that closing the borders to higher-risk countries was and remains a great policy, and over time, most other countries copied us, even to the point of now closing their borders to us.

Now, flash forward, Joe is supporting the idea of giving half shots to twice as many people.  This concept remains just as crazy/wrong with his support as it was before he decided to climb onto that bandwagon.

If you choose to get the vaccine, try as seriously hard as you can to get a commitment there’ll be a second shot of the vaccine for you three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks later.

Current Numbers

In the US, no changes of states in the case list, although some changes in ranking.  On the death list, the worst five states saw two new entrants, SD and RI.

In the minor country list, no new entrants, but Gibraltar has shot up from fifth to second place.

In the major country case list, also no new entrants, with the Czech Republic extending still further its lead over second place USA, and Belgium falling even further behind in third place.  The UK has moved up two places.  The Czech Republic is showing little sign of slowing down its rapid rate of new cases – averaging 1,165 new cases per million people a day.  For comparison, the UK is averaging 880 and the US is averaging 750.  China, which locked down over 10 million people last week, is averaging 0.03.

No new entrants in the death list, but the US moved up two places to fifth place.


US Best and Worst States

Rank Cases/Million Deaths/Million
A week ago Now A week ago Now
1 Best VT (12,489) VT (14,370) HI (204) HI (218)
2 HI HI VT (224) VT (250)
5 WA (33,387) WA (36,123) OR (356) OR (381)
47 UT (88,421) IA (93,971) CT (1,711) SD (1,792)
48 TN UT (95,447) ND RI (1,809)
50 SD SD NY (1,972) NY (2,035)
51 Worst ND (122,091) ND (124,289) NJ (2,180) NJ (2,244)


Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Andorra (105,938) Andorra (111,029)
2 Montenegro Gibraltar (94,104)
3 Luxembourg Montenegro
4 San Marino San Marino
5 Gibraltar Luxembourg
6 Slovenia Slovenia
7 French Polynesia Panama
8 Panama Liechtenstein
9 Liechtenstein French Polynesia
10 Georgia (57,504) Georgia (60,031)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (69,080) Czech Republic (77,538)
2 USA (63,596) USA (69,021)
3 Belgium (55,889) Belgium (57,049)
4 Netherlands Netherlands
5 Sweden Sweden
6 Portugal Portugal (47,509)
7 Spain UK (45,132)
8 France Spain (43,844)
9 UK (39,002) France
10 Brazil Brazil
11 Argentina Argentina
12 Italy (35,677) Italy (37,681)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Belgium (1,691) Belgium (1,725)
2 Italy Italy (1,304)
3 Peru Czech Republic (1,223)
4 Czech Republic (1,116) UK (1,196)
5 UK (1,102) USA (1,154)
6 Spain (1,087) Peru (1,153)
7 USA (1,085) Spain (1,109)
8 France (995) France (1,037)
9 Mexico (979) Mexico (1,027)
10 Argentina (958) Argentina (980)


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, additional material on previous diary entries, and much extra content on other parts of the website too.

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

Items below include a discussion on why the rate of new and more dangerous virus mutations is and will continue to accelerate, a possible approach to counter the new more infectious virus strain, a possible cure for the virus has been made illegal in South Africa for no apparent reason, but is in widespread use in the rest of Africa, with ten times lower virus rates than South Africa, a new reason some people might choose not to get vaccinated, and an “expert” predicts there might be two more winters of virus prevalence and lockdowns.





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

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

2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 10 January, 2021”

  1. Some much that could be commented on. A few notes:
    – Many people thought we would have vaccines by year end — Trump said we’d have them before election day. Clearly he wasn’t the “only” one predicting by year.
    – The article is very positive but fails to mention the promise of 20 million vaccinated by year end; and the significant miss. And please don’t blame all that on the states — the federal government contributed.
    – Biden’s position is mis-represented. His idea is to not only do a single dose. It is to assume by invoking the defense production act that the 2nd doses will be manufactured in time to have the 2 doses. My personal view is that somewhere between the current strategy of having 100% of the 2nd dose held back and assuming that 100% can be manufactured in the 21 or 28 days to meet the need.

  2. It’s beyond belief that the same FDA and CDC who touted the “danger” (one in hundreds of thousands had heart problems) of HCQ, needed at that time by perhaps thousands of people. And have ignored or disparaged Ivermectin. Are now silent at this massive, unsupported total population “science experiment” on potentially millions of people, many vulnerable.

    Where is “follow the science”? 2020 has been a stressful and crazy year, but has it now pushed our society into ignoring the very scientists who created and studied the vaccines?

    What’s the danger? Millions of people who think they have been protected but aren’t? Millions of people who risk infection (going to pharmacies, doctors offices, etc), to seek out shots, and get nothing for it? Millions of precious doses wasted?

    What a nightmare.

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