Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 9 May, 2021

On Friday, England announced their new policy for people traveling out of the UK and returning back to England.  For people traveling to a limited number of destinations, there will be almost no restrictions on returning back to England.

The choice of these destinations was rather puzzling.  Yes, I’m being polite.  All but one of the countries had lower Covid case rates than the UK – that is an understandable requirement, but why then was a special exception made for Portugal, with a slightly higher rate?

As for the other 11 countries, well……  Australia and New Zealand were on the list.  That would be good, except for one slight problem.  Neither country is allowing any visitors in at all.

Then there was Tristan de Cunha, with a population of only 264.  Not a destination many Brits would ever want to visit.  But, wait, also on the list was South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, between them all boasting a total of 30 people, a place that maybe sees a dozen visitors from Britain a year (and I’ve no idea how they manage to get there).

At the same time, have a look at this list of “real” countries that were not on the list, and their lower-than-UK Covid case rates :

There are many other countries that have lower rates than the UK too.  Why are all these countries not on the English “green list” of countries when Portugal, with a higher rate, is on the list, two of the countries on the list don’t allow visitors, and two more are both extremely small and almost impossible to get to?

The other surprising thing is that nowhere in the new set of regulations did the word “vaccination” appear in terms of modifying the requirements for quarantine or country category.  It only appeared in the context of demonstrating proof of vaccine to other countries, not in terms of the (re)entry requirements of people into Britain.

It appears, at least at present, that Britain is totally ignoring the concept of vaccine protection in designing these regulations.  It is also not clear if the regulations, apparently written for Britons returning to England, also apply to foreign people wishing to visit England/Britain.

Leave it to the politicians to take a simple thing and make a total confusing mess, right?

Talking about total confusing messes, do you really understand the current situation with mask wearing and the reasons for it?  I surely don’t.  The CDC seems to be providing ultra-confusing “guidelines” for when masks should be worn, and it is clear there has been an – ugh – “abundance of caution” in designing the guidelines because there’s precious little value in having been vaccinated when it comes to still needing to wear a mask or not.

Here are two articles on the topic – one that struggles to understand Joe Biden’s approach to mask wearing, and the other that involves Dr Fauci dumping a pile of platitudes while trying to explain the current mask wearing concepts.

Talking about the CDC, they’ve finally, 15 months late, acknowledged that the risk of catching the virus from aerosolized virus particles is significant.  How many lives could have been saved if a single competent person at the CDC had told us, a year or more ago, about this, and suggested we should pay attention to indoor air quality?  This NY Times article is way too kind to them, while still being gently condemning of the CDC’s grievous error.

How is it that someone as unfamiliar with the topic as I, could clearly see and advocate about the risk of aerosolized virus particles way back last year, but the CDC is only now struggling to do a 180° swing in its messaging?

Here’s a searing indictment of the CDC’s slowness by one of the country’s best doctors – a gentleman who was calling for acknowledgement of the aerosol factor a year ago, and only now is slowly having his voice heard.  Oh yes, he was also one of the very first doctors to advocate for steroid use to fight Covid in its later stages (now a standard practice), and is nowadays very focused on getting ivermectin approved.

Current Numbers

TN replaced UT in the worst state case list.

Luxembourg and Bahrain swapped places in the minor country list.  Brazil and Jordan swapped places on the major country list, and Argentina took over the bottom position on that list, displacing Italy.  UK and Peru swapped places in the death rate list, indeed, the UK’s death rate has been so low that their mortality rate per million people didn’t even increment by one over the last week.

The usual wild swings happened in the last week case rate table, and India is now at 22nd position, with a case rate of 1,971 per million people in the last week, a mild 5% increase in a week.

US Best and Worst States

A week agoNowA week agoNow
1 BestHI (23,011)HI (23,453)HI (341)HI (345)
5WA (53,455)WA (54,671)OR (593)OR (600)
47UT (124,148)TN (124,882)MS (2,419)MS (2,429)
51 WorstND (141,338)ND (142,353)NJ (2,882)NJ (2,905)


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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Andorra (171,673)Andorra (173,489)
3San MarinoSan Marino
4Gibraltar (127,156)Gibraltar (127,249)
9St BarthSt Barth
10Lithuania (92,803)Lithuania (95,857)


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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (152,357)Czech Republic (153,372)
2USA (99,754)USA (100,634)
3Sweden (95,905)Sweden (99,261)
12Italy (66,980)Argentina (69,106)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (2,736)Czech Republic (2,766)
2Belgium (2,086)Belgium (2,107)
5UK (1,871)Peru (1,913)
6Peru (1,863)UK (1,871)
7Poland (1,800)Poland (1,852)
8USA (1,777)USA (1,791)
9Spain (1,672)Spain (1,685)
10Mexico (1,670)Mexico (1,683)


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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Uruguay  5,060Bahrain  5,743
2Bahrain  4,529Uruguay  5,221
11France  2,358Colombia  2,125
12Colombia  2,322Slovenia  2,120


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 Disney and Universal Studios make it easier to be admitted to their parks, bad news for bald men, good (but not great) news for people who have already been infected, something almost as bad as reusing toilet paper, four more positive reports on IVM usage, the US vaccine monitoring program only has one in 16 people participating in it, the US enjoys the lowest count of new cases in a single day since 15 June 2020 today, vaccination numbers grow more slowly, Australia to stay closed for (at least) the rest of this year, and the impossibility when the US government mandates vaccinations but the Florida state government makes it illegal to require vaccinations, and an unfortunate choice of simile by President Putin.




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.



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