Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 6 May, 2021

First of all, a reminder.  Friday is the last day my book, “The Covid Survival Guide”, will be on sale at the special discounted price of $1.99 for the Amazon Kindle version.  It returns to $8.99 on Saturday.

The US passed through another “milestone” type number earlier this week, when it exceeded 33,264,321 reported cases.  What is the significance of that number?  It is exactly 10% of the country’s population, meaning that now slightly more than one in every ten people has officially been reported as having had a Covid infection.

The actual number of cases is thought to be at least 50% higher, due to people having the virus without any symptoms.

At the same time, we’ve now recorded 594,006 official deaths from the virus.  Or have we?  Astonishingly, that number is even more inexact than the count of infections, and this article suggests the actual number might be in excess of 950,000 (the article says 905k, but since the article was published there have been 33,000 more official deaths recorded, so that implies a current total around 950k).

It is interesting to note that the discrepancy between officially reported and estimated numbers is greater for the US than it is for most other western nations – how appalling that we can’t even accurately count our deaths.  On the other hand, keep in mind that some people claim we have been massively over-counting our Covid deaths, reporting all sorts of nothing-to-do-with-Covid deaths as Covid deaths (for example, dying from gunshots and traffic accidents).

However, don’t think that the preceding comments presage a mood of despair and continued failure.  In actual fact, the recent news has been generally very positive, as this article reports, and as the graph immediately below vividly shows.

As you can see, the seven day average of new cases reported is now at a lower number than any time since 7 October last year – almost exactly seven months ago.  Cases have been dropping every day in a row for just over three weeks now.

This of course is not a surprise to you if you’ve been tracking my daily chart postings on Twitter.  And now, finally, the CDC is admitting that too, and went as far as to project a “sharp decline” in Covid cases by July, without clearly defining what that means.  That’s a sort of vague projection that is impossible to be wrong, isn’t it.

What a turnaround for the CDC.  It is barely a month ago that their Director chose to cry on national television while warning of “impending doom“.  If this is doom, could I have another portion, please.

But the professional worriers are never short of things to worry about, with their worry now shifting to the unwillingness of more people to be vaccinated (exactly as has long been anticipated, but apparently now a surprise to the professional worriers).  It is certainly a massive turnaround – from previously worrying that we had too few doses of vaccine and wondering if we should only give people one dose rather than two to make it go further (always a crazy idea, as this article most recently confirms).

Current Numbers

No changes in US state rankings.

Estonia was pushed out of 10th place in the minor country list by its neighbor, Lithuania.  Interestingly, while both Lithuania and Estonia have around 94k cases/million people, the third of the Baltic states, Latvia, has only 65k/million.

Argentina displaced Italy at the bottom of the major country list, and Sweden is within a week or two of replacing the US in second position.

A couple of place swaps but no new entries in the death list.

As is becoming normal, there were many changes in the “most cases in the last week” list.  India is now at #26 on that list (it was 27th on Sunday), with a new case rate of 1,962, barely up on the 1,878 on Sunday.

US Best and Worst States

Rank Cases/Million Deaths/Million
A week ago Now A week ago Now
1 Best HI (22,765) HI (23,252) HI (341) HI (343)
2 VT VT VT VT
3 OR OR AK AK
4 ME ME ME ME
5 WA (53,050) WA (54,295) OR (591) OR (596)
47 TN (123,949) TN (124,769) MS (2,418) MS (2,428)
48 IA IA RI RI
49 SD SD MA MA
50 RI (139,610) RI (141,013) NY NY
51 Worst ND (140,800) ND (142,007) NJ (2,874) NJ (2,898)

 

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Andorra (170,590) Andorra (172,716)
2 Montenegro Montenegro
3 San Marino San Marino
4 Gibraltar (127,156) Gibraltar (127,249)
5 Slovenia Slovenia
6 Luxembourg Luxembourg
7 Bahrain Bahrain
8 Aruba Aruba
9 St Barth St Barth
10 Estonia (91,659) Lithuania (94,457)

 

Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (151,839) Czech Republic (153,007)
2 USA (99,349) USA (100,315)
3 Sweden (95,326) Sweden (98,707)
4 Netherlands Netherlands
5 France France
6 Belgium Belgium
7 Portugal Portugal
8 Spain Spain
9 Poland Poland
10 Jordan Brazil
11 Brazil Jordan
12 Italy (66,391) Argentina (67,966)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Rep (2,724) Czech Rep (2,752)
2 Belgium Belgium
3 Italy Italy
4 Brazil (1,877) Brazil
5 UK (1,870) Peru (1,895)
6 Peru (1,832) UK (1,871)
7 Poland (1,774) Poland (1,825)
8 USA  (1,771) USA  (1,786)
9 Portugal (1,669) Spain (1,683)
10 Spain (1,669) Portugal (1,670)

 

Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Uruguay  5,696 Bahrain  5,108
2 Cyprus Uruguay  5,085
3 Bahrain Argentina
4 Argentina Lithuania
5 Croatia Netherlands
6 Turkey Costa Rica
7 Netherlands Sweden
8 Lithuania Croatia
9 Sweden Cyprus
10 France Slovenia
11 Costa Rica Mongolia
12 Mongolia  2,388 Georgia  2,231

 

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 three new drugs being developed to treat Covid, plus an inexpensive over-the-counter supplement that continues to show encouraging signs of combatting Covid too, how Covid can infect your brain, many more articles supporting ivermectin, and even one more supporting hydroxychloroquine, another hospital ordered by a court to treat their patient with IVM, medical censorship persists, a new vaccine progressing to approval in the near future, might we get vaccine booster shots by nasal spray and possibly even vaccines by tablet, a new form of Olympic sponsorship, it is easy to get a vaccine approved in Russia, a new look at vaccination rates and their implications, people’s willingness to “return to normal”, why don’t the airlines do something to reduce the cost of PCR testing at airports, more shortages, and why bee tongues are relevant to Covid testing.

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

……….

END OF SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

Lastly, here’s an article that reads like an April Fools Day joke.  Who even knew bees had tongues….

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.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 6 May, 2021”

  1. Richard Davis – We are what we eat. Sometimes.

    As predicted by many, the “cases” would drop in May. They will rise again in November. Then there will be an “official” panic over a new “wave.” It will never end.

  2. While the “impending doom” comment by the CDC director could have been worded better. As noted, the comment was over month ago (actually late March). The graph is the article shows the rate of change going from nearly -4% to about +2% between late February and late March. There is the beginning of the down trend very late in March.

    Further the daily case rate continues to rise into April.

    The trend lines when the comment were made weren’t positive. I, personally, don’t wish to have another month like March.

  3. lifegotinteresting

    I completely agree with your comments about the high cost of PCR testing for travel. But I would add another issue. Unnecessary complexity as well. I am about to head to Hawaii next week. United Airlines refers you to three possible testing “partners”. Two are at-home test kits. one firm mentions that just getting the kit delivered after ordering it takes 3 days, and up to another 72 hours for results – given that you need the results within 72 hours of departure, that’s not terribly helpful. I am unwilling to just go to the airport and “hope” there is a rapid testing slot available.

    The last was an “urgent care” outfit that uses a Zoom interview to check your status, and a separate testing lab (you have to register with all three). They offer a convoluted process that costs $300 per person (more than the airfare). It’s just disgusting. People are really taking advantage. The urgent care flks first didn’t answer the phone, then they did, but their system was down so they couldn’t make an appointment for a test. Then when I wen to their website they had “walk-ins only”. So I left a frustrated voicemail and they called me back and booked a time. Wow.

    And don’t get me started about the convoluted Hawaii website (they don’t consider vaccination as a reason to waive quarantine, yet). I went to Asia last year, and that process was only slightly less cumbersome. Why are they shooting themselves in the foot?

    When vaccines eventually open doors, these folks will have to find a way to make an honest living …

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