Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 11 March, 2021


Many sources are claiming today is the one year anniversary of the start of the Covid crisis, for example, this article.

That is a strange choice of date, and seems to be based on WHO finally and grudgingly admitting the reality of Covid and no longer pretending it didn’t exist.  But 11 March was far from Day One with Patient Zero.  There were 125 countries having confirmed Covid outbreaks already by then, and it is to WHO’s shame that it took until 11 March 2020 to agree it was a pandemic, something it should have said very much sooner.

On 11 February, for example, there were already 28 countries with outbreaks, and President Trump declared a public health emergency on 31 January.

Would an earlier declaration by WHO have made any difference?  Actually, probably not.  No part of the global response to Covid shows any signs of any type of coordination at all, and even the tightly united EU has struggled to create and keep any sort of consistent response to the virus within its member nations.

But, whatever the date, (un)happy birthday to the virus.  And, of course, like all other one year olds, the virus has grown and changed a great deal over that year, with the new thing being all the variants and their greater lethality and infectiousness that have been cropping up over the last few months – things the “experts” had inexplicably told us not to worry about.

For the record, in case anyone is counting, this is the 184th article I’ve written about the virus.  Say an average of 2500 words per article, plus my 480 page/135,000 word book, and I’ve written almost exactly 600,000 words on the subject, in little more than a year.  I’m hoping to be able to soon reduce the pace of coverage, but surprisingly/dismayingly, the need to correct and clarify misinformation remains as pressing today as it was a year ago.

Eli Lilly have developed a new anti-viral drug that reduces the risk of needing to be hospitalized with a Covid infection by 87%.  This claim is based on their in-house trial, with 511 test subjects, and it was deemed sufficient for the US – even prior to the release of the trial results – to spend $210 million to buy 100,000 doses of the drug.  That’s a cost of $2,100 per dose.

Compare that to ivermectin.  There have been 45 independent and positive trials of ivermectin, involving 15,451 test subjects, a demonstrated improvement of 82% in early treatment trials, and a cost of $2.10 per dose.  Similar effectiveness, 30 times more test subjects, 45 times more trials, a known safe drug rather than a brand new one, and one thousandth of the cost.  But the FDA continues to claim that not enough is known to support ivermectin use.

Double standards?  Hypocrisy?  Incompetence?  Or outright corruption?

Astonishingly, the FDA is becoming more negative about ivermectin.  After taking a baby-sized step towards expressing positivity, it has now pulled back and come up with a series of nonsense statements to support cautioning against ivermectin.

Here’s an interesting new Covid treatment – a nasal spray being developed in Israel.  Brazil is keen to use it, and certainly it seems like a great idea, although I’ve no idea what it costs.  Most of all, though – how does it compare to ivermectin?

There has long been a groundswell of support for Vitamin D as a way to reduce one’s vulnerability to Covid.  It too is far from settled science, although, unlike ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin D can be bought over the counter without a prescription, often even in a local grocery store.  This article points to research in favor of Vitamin D use, this article points to a new study that suggests little or no benefit from Vitamin D.

Exactly the same as for IVM and HCQ, my feeling is there’s no downside to taking Vitamin D.  It is safe and inexpensive, and possibly might help and almost surely would not hurt.

Current Numbers

No changes in positions at all in the US tables.  Montenegro and Gibraltar swapped places in the minor country list.

In the major country list, Spain dropped two places, and Poland replaced Argentina at the bottom of the list.  Sadly, the US moved up one position in the death list, barely passing Portugal, and is now in 5th place.

US Best and Worst States

A week agoNowA week agoNow
1 BestHI (19,563)HI (19,833)HI (311)HI (316)
2VT (25,138)VT (26,443)VT (332)VT (338)
4ORORME (524)ME (538)
5WA (45,473)WA (46,032)OR (542)OR (549)
47IA (115,884)IA (117,038)MS (2,273)MS (2,306)
48UT (116,445)UT (117,585)MA (2,363)MA (2,401)
49RIRIRI (2,397)RI (2,419)
50SD (127,806)SD (129,047)NY (2,483)NY (2,516)
51 WorstND (131,464)ND (132,176)NJ (2,645)NJ (2,681)


Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Andorra (141,904)Andorra (143,890)
2Gibraltar (125,965)Montenegro (130,594)
4San MarinoSan Marino
9Aruba (74,800)Aruba (77,251)
10Lithuania (74,498)Lithuania (75,671)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (119,776)Czech Republic (127,367)
2USA (88,851)USA (90,044)
3Portugal (79,344)Portugal (79,852)
8UK (61,670)UK (62,256)
11Italy (49,653)Italy
12Argentina (46,926)Poland (48,904)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Rep (1,970)Czech Rep (2,110)
2Belgium (1,907)Belgium (1,922)
3UK (1,821)UK (1,837)
4Italy (1,639)Italy (1,675)
5Portugal (1,617)USA (1,636)
6USA (1,606)Portugal (1,635)
7Spain (1,507)Spain (1,541)
8Mexico (1,448)Mexico (1,482)
9Peru (1,421)Peru (1,456)
10France (1,344)France (1,374)


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 Entries – today and in the past, 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 another reason to accept the Chinese origin of the virus, a lovely form of quarantine, a nonsense reason for reducing quarantine duration, misleading headlines, the CDC finally catches up with reality, a surprising new source of resistance to the virus, Denmark and Iceland stop using one of the vaccines due to safety concerns, are rates staying steady or dropping (and why is this even a question), Disneyland to reopen, but there’s sure to be a catch, and is now a good time to start traveling, domestically and/or internationally.





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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