Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 23 May, 2021

Less than an hour before I was vaccinated on Friday, I came across an article I wish I’d not seen until afterwards – the FDA advised that a Chinese company’s syringes has safety issues with their needles.

Why is so much of what we’re reading about the virus, vaccines, and drugs wrong?  Because, astonishingly, erroneous research is cited 100 – 300 times more than accurate research.  The linked article is a bit technical but echoes what has been found in other research on other topics and the propensity for wrong data to spread more readily than correct data.

But talking about studies, there’s another way to evaluate them as well as right/wrong.  There’s also the “trivial-useless/already-know-that” type of study – often costly and very detailed, but ending up telling us something that everyone already knows.  Such as, for example, this research comes to the conclusion that travelers are happy to pay for virus infection tests, if it means they can avoid a two week quarantine, and if the tests are affordably priced.  Did we really need a study to tell us that?

Current Numbers

There were no changes in US rankings.

In the minor country list, Bahrain and Slovenia swapped places, and the Maldives appeared, while Lithuania dropped off the list.

In the major country list, France and Belgium swapped places, while Argentina shot up two places.  There were several swaps in the death rate list.

In the last week new case table, Bahrain stayed at the top of the list, with almost a 50% increase in new cases compared to the week before.  Uruguay also reported a lift in new cases, and the rest of the table showed the usual jumble of rises and falls, of appearances and disappearances.

India has slipped down the list again, and now is at 28th place, reporting a rate of 1,284 new cases over the last week per million people, a drop of 22% from a week ago.  The US has a rate of 528 cases/million and a drop of 24% over the week.  Worldwide, cases dropped 12% for the week.

US Best and Worst States

A week agoNowA week agoNow
1 BestHI (23,845)HI (25,332)HI (347)HI (350)
5WA (55,802)WA (56,462)OR (613)OR (622)
47UT (125,568)UT (126,164)MS (2,437)MS (2,446)
51 WorstND (143,169)ND (143,824)NJ (2,923)NJ (2,937)


Top Case Rates Minor (population under 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Andorra (174,609)Andorra (175,367)
3San MarinoSan Marino
4Gibraltar (127,249)Gibraltar (127,308)
9Lithuania (98,750)Maldives (101,865)
10St Barth (98,354)St Barth (101,474)


Top Case Rates Major (population over 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (154,092)Czech Republic (154,557)
2Sweden (102,138)Sweden (104,215)
3USA (101,342)USA (101,873)
11Argentina  (72,596)Brazil
12Jordan (70,365)Jordan (70,973)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (2,788)Czech Republic (2,799)
2Belgium (2,122)Belgium (2,134)
6Poland (1,895)Poland
7UK (1,872)UK (1,873)
8USA (1,804)USA (1,816)
9Spain (1,696)Mexico (1,703)
10Mexico (1,694)Spain (1,702)


Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Bahrain  6,630Bahrain  9,733
2Uruguay  5,691Uruguay  7,056
5Costa RicaTrinidad & Tobago
6ColombiaCosta Rica
9LatviaBrazil  2,132
11Brazil  2,070Nepal  1,967
12Trinidad & Tobago  2,066Georgia  1,807


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Items below include even CNN is now complaining about CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s apparent lack of interest in understanding which virus strains are not being caught by the vaccines, news about future better vaccines being developed, vaccination rates, Europe’s confusing and conflicted “plans” for opening, and good news for people wishing to go on an Alaskan cruise.




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 23 May, 2021”

  1. I’m not sure how easily this data is available but it would be interesting to see two things:
    – A comparison of recent trends is states with high vaccination rates versus those with low. I believe the headline yesterday was 8 states now have 70+% with, at least, one dose.
    – A comparison of some of the best/worse US states compared to other countries. NJ to Sweden would be interesting. (They are with 20% of each other on population and have most of the people concentrated in more urban areas and while Sweden is much larger, few people live in the northern half).

    1. Hi, cclinger

      I’m a great lover of data (as you may have noticed), but trying to find correlations between, eg, vaccination rates and recent infection rates, is open to enormous risk of getting deceptive results. There are other issues as well as just/simply vax rates. This is hinted at by the fact that the best US states have infection rates half the rates of the worst states – sometimes even more. Why, for example, does RI have 3 1/2 times the infection rate of VT?

      There was also an interesting article I linked to, perhaps on Thursday, indicating there is no great correlation between official state policies on masks, etc, and what people actually do. So how to actually track/correlate what a state is doing in reality with what a state is experiencing.

      I’m not saying this is impossible, but I am saying it is extremely difficult, and a huge minefield of opportunities to draw the wrong conclusions.

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