Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 29 July, 2021

Thursday set a new record high number of Covid cases reported in the US since early February.  Sadly, that same statement applies to many of the preceding days for the last five weeks due to the rapidly increasing new cases, with Thursday being the first day cases have again exceeded 90,000.  Thursday’s final count isn’t yet available, but the number is already over 93,000 and could go over 95,000 when the last reports are collated.

As you can see, for almost three weeks, our daily growth (orange line) has been rising at a rate higher than any time since the pandemic started in March last year.  If it continues, we’ll be over 100,000 cases a day within a day or two, and over 200,000 cases a day in less than two weeks.

But, will the growth continue?  Sooner or later, it has to stop, doesn’t it?  That’s a puzzle I can’t start to solve.  As I commented on Sunday, this strange virus attacks us viciously, then suddenly pulls back for no apparent reason, only to return and repeat the process again.

There’s no obvious answer to why our skyrocketing growth in November/December suddenly reversed and plunged down again, and so I find myself desperately hoping that the virus will “voluntarily” give us another respite, starting from any day now.

That is clearly what has happened in the UK, although its remarkable and utterly unexpected plunge in numbers is now slowing.  But will it continue at a more moderate rate of reducing numbers, or will it reverse and swing up again?  No-one knows for sure, no matter what the experts might say to the contrary.

Continuing on that concept, it is almost amusing to note how UK’s “leading experts” were predicting, just a week ago (18 July) that case numbers would continue to soar up to and could exceed 200,000 a day, a rate almost four times higher than ever before.  But instead, at a time when they told us to get ready for 200,000 cases a day, new case numbers are only somewhat over 20,000 a day, and less than half what they were at the time the prediction was made.  This article and this article are excellent takes on the utter incompetence of the “experts”.

One thing “experts” are good at though is coming up with excuses for why they were wrong.  And they’ve done that this time, too, but all their excuses (schools closing, warmer weather, the end of mass sport events, and so on) were and are not surprises – they were things that were known in advance and should have been included in their models and projections.

Perhaps the most astonishing about-face though is from one of the most consistently pessimistic (and wrong!) of all UK’s “experts”, who was predicting 200k new cases a day, but now has switched and expects the virus to be a distant memory come October!  Sadly, we expect he’ll be wrong with that prediction too.

Is it any reason then that normal people, with common sense, even if not with many degrees and “expertise”, have lost almost all confidence in what our experts are telling us?  This is a good article on that point.

Not only are the experts so often wrong, but there’s also a tinge of dishonesty or bias that normal people sense about their “mistakes”.  Or, if not dishonesty/bias, then at the very least, gross incompetence.  How about the White House and its flips and flops on masks – first no masks, then masks, then no masks, and now, masks again (but vaccinations, while now being mandated across the federal government, seem to remain exempt for White House workers – why?).

Another example – the PCR test to see if a person had a Covid infection or not was and still is controversial.  The CDC and FDA have lauded it as the “gold standard” and most accurate of all tests, whereas some people have said it has been set way too sensitive and is prone to too many false positives, something that is denied outright by the CDC/FDA.  That is reflected in most airlines and countries requiring PCR tests as proof of not being infected.  Oh, and did we mention, PCR testing is the slowest and most expensive of the many different test options out there?

Of note is that one of the people criticizing the way the PCR test is used is the man who invented it, but when he expressed what is surely a meaningful and valid concern about the PCR testing process being used to detect Covid infections, his comments were deleted and removed from social media.

But now, we discover that the CDC is quietly cancelling the use of PCR testing.  We’ve looked to find the press release or the main stream media articles headlined “Yes, we were wrong, the PCR testing is inaccurate and unreliable” but we can’t find those anywhere.  Instead, there’s a “Laboratory Alert” on the CDC website mentioning that at the end of this year (why not now?) the CDC will ask the FDA to withdraw its Emergency Use Authorization for PCR-based virus testing.

This article talks about the issue some more.

And talking about the CDC and the level of trust it engenders, it is now saying we should mask up again, based on secret research it is unwilling to share.  What’s with that???

Here are two more examples why we shouldn’t and can’t trust experts to do the right thing.

Earlier this week, the UK announced it would now allow vaccinated US and EU citizens to visit the UK without the need for quarantine upon arrival.  You’d still need a before-travel test for the virus, and a second test a couple of days after arriving, but no quarantine.  That’s great news.

But, unbelievably, while all the EU and the US were included, even countries with higher rates of virus activity than in the UK, Canada was not mentioned.  Canada, a senior member of the British Commonwealth, a trusted equal member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance, and a long-time loyal British ally and friend, has a Covid activity level 30 times lower than in the UK, and 15 times lower than in the US.  If any country should have been given the red carpet treatment and be first to have its citizens welcomed, surely it would be Canada.  Instead, it has been overlooked entirely.

Why? Later in the week, it was suggested that Canada would soon be added to that list, but why not now?  What is the delay for?

And, for the ultimate perfidy which isn’t just inconveniencing Canadians, but which is killing millions of people around the world, this excellent WSJ opinion piece again raises the overlooked issue of ivermectin and the FDA’s apparently dishonest attacks on its safety and effectiveness.

As I say regularly, our problem is not the virus itself, it is our inability to sensibly, coherently, and consistently respond to it.

Current Numbers

Another week with no changes in the minor country ranking table. But the major country table made up for it, with lots of changes, including the US dropping one place, and the UK re-appearing at the bottom of the list.

The death rate table is always slow changing, with no changes this week.  And, of course, the case rate activity last week table is always very volatile.

Of note is the UK now falling down the table again.  They reported a drop of 37% in new cases the last week.  Europe as a whole also dropped, by 10%, with the Netherlands starring with the biggest drop (48%).  Major rises were in Iceland (185%), France (45%), Italy (43%), and Germany (38%).

The US rose 54%.  The world as a whole rose 9%.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Andorra (186,883) Andorra (189,349)
2 Seychelles (179,283) Seychelles (183,725)
3 Montenegro (160,575) Montenegro
4 Bahrain Bahrain
5 San Marino San Marino
6 Gibraltar (140,380) Gibraltar (146,140)
7 Maldives Maldives
8 Slovenia Slovenia
9 Luxembourg Luxembourg
10 Uruguay (108,968) Uruguay (109,327)

 

Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (155,819) Czech Republic (155,933)
2 Sweden (107,847) Netherlands (108,246)
3 Netherlands (106,392) Sweden (108,136)
4 USA  (105,730) Argentina  (107,489)
5 Argentina USA (106,831)
6 Belgium Belgium
7 Portugal (92,791) Portugal (94,783)
8 Colombia (91,198) Spain (94,545)
9 Brazil (91,169) France
10 Spain Brazil
11 France (90,690) Colombia (92,623)
12 Chile (83,192) UK (84,981)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,841) Peru  (5,863)
2 Czech Rep  (2,828) Czech Rep  (2,830)
3 Brazil Brazil
4 Colombia (2,290) Colombia
5 Argentina Argentina
6 Belgium Belgium
7 Italy Italy
8 Poland Poland
9 UK (1,889) UK (1,897)
10 USA (1,880) USA (1,887)

 

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

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Cyprus  5,630 Cuba  5,158
2 Botswana  4,799 Georgia  4,523
3 UK  4,724 Cyprus  4,501
4 Cuba Botswana
5 Spain Spain
6 Netherlands Malaysia
7 Georgia UK  2,970
8 Mongolia Mongolia
9 Tunisia Libya
10 Malaysia Eswatini
11 Portugal Kazakhstan
12 Colombia  2,121 Iran  2,380

 

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Items below include more self-evident and obvious nonsense from “experts”, the CDC’s new mask wearing policy is impossible to understand or act upon, the mandate for federal workers to be vaccinated is nothing at all like a mandate, the WSJ published a deceptive piece about ivermectin, more disappointments with the worth of Chinese vaccines, the extraordinary situation in the UK and Netherlands, do lockdowns make any difference at all, and the danger of trying to match unrelated events/outcomes to form incorrect assumptions.

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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END OF SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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.

 

2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 29 July, 2021”

    1. David Rowell – Seattle, WA, USA – New Zealander now living in the United States.

      Hi, Biz

      That’s a good map. Thanks.

      I don’t agree about the CDC only being able to say “should”. I disagree for the simple reason that in the past they have said “must”. For example,

      https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html

      Okay, so maybe they can’t mandate masks everywhere, but they should mandate them wherever they can if they wish to send a clearer message.

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