Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 10 October, 2021

I’ve been speculating about the improbability of China’s low Covid numbers.  While Hong Kong has not yet been completely assimilated into the “Middle Kingdom” (as China refers to itself) it is becoming ever more tightly a part of China, so it is interesting to note what is happening there.  To start with, it is helpful to rank Hong Kong’s Covid case rate (1,619/million), while 85 times lower than the US (136,000/million) is also 24 times higher than China (67/million).

Hong Kong is boasting to be Covid free, and life to be back to normal.  But, what is “normal”?  This article rather long-windedly takes its time to explain, but once it get there, it is clear the dystopian view of “normal” that reigns in Hong Kong is far removed from what we’d understand it to be – people being summarily seized and hauled off to 21 day quarantines if they are suspected of being at risk of Covid infection being just one part of Hong Kong’s “normalcy”.

Is this also the secret of China’s normalcy?  A draconian series of crackdowns and interventions?  Increasingly, it is hard for us to know exactly what is happening in China, just as it is increasingly difficult for Chinese people themselves to know what is happening around them.  But there are perhaps three missing zeroes on China’s official Covid rate that need to be explained and understood.

To turn now to a more positive story, here’s a heart-warming and happy story of how one person survived Covid.  Sure, one person’s experience is just that – one person’s experience.  But that doesn’t make it any less real, and perhaps there are lessons within it that we would be wise to take to heart.

So, from the negative to the positive – what remains?  The inexplicably confusing.  In a manner that rather reminds me of the shifting set of lies surrounding masks – we don’t need them, we do, we need two, then we don’t need them after vaccination, and now, apparently we do again;  we’re being told not to worry if our vaccine based immunity is waning, because some of it still remains.

But why would we not worry?  Or, if we don’t need to worry, why do we need a third vaccination?  These two stories do not fit with each other.

We’ve been told the sky will fall on our heads if we’re not vaccinated, and now we’re being told the vaccines are fading fast, but not to worry?  My interpretation of this, and the platitudes in this article that expresses that strange thought, is that as soon as there’s enough vaccine out there again to give third shots to everyone, all of a sudden, we’ll be told to start worrying and rush in to clinics with our sleeves rolled up again.

And as for that third shot, it doesn’t seem to be quite the miracle that has been promised.  This article says it is 86% effective in the over 60s, but doesn’t tell us what it is measuring/defining the happy word “effective” as meaning.  Preventing death?  Hospitalization?  Mild illness?  Infection?  There are so many different measures.  And the puzzling thing, weren’t we told the first two shots would be something like 95% effective (against severe illness/death)?

Sure, maybe the third shot gives a renewed spurt of protection, but is there an underlying unstated truth here?  That the renewed immunity doesn’t reach the same levels as the first short-lived period of immunity?

So much we don’t know; so much we’re not being told….

Current Numbers

St Barth and San Marino swapped places in the minor country list.

The UK is now in third place on the major country list.  It is a long run from there to reach the US at second place, and another long run for either US or UK to reach the Czech Republic.

The US moved up one place in the death rate table and seems certain to move up another place by Thursday.

In the case rates for last week table, the UK had an 8% rise in numbers, but actually fell two places on the list.  Europe as a whole had a nasty 11% rise, with Poland at 51% up, Latvia up 41%, Netherlands up 36% and Germany up 27%.  Fallers saw Spain drop 31%, Sweden down 18%, Italy 15% and France down 10%

Canada dropped 25% and Mexico dropped 17%.  The world as a whole saw a 9% drop in cases.

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

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Seychelles (215,385) Seychelles (218,297)
2 Montenegro (211,244) Montenegro (215,385)
3 Andorra Andorra
4 Gibraltar (165,479) Gibraltar (167,053)
5 San Marino St Barth
6 St Barth San Marino
7 Georgia  (155,232) Georgia
8 Bahrain Bahrain
9 Maldives Maldives
10 Aruba (144,743) Aruba (145,571)


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

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (157,798) Czech Republic (158,347)
2 USA (133,514) USA (135,556)
3 Netherlands UK (119,319)
4 UK (115,620) Netherlands
5 Argentina Argentina
6 Sweden Sweden
7 France Belgium
8 Belgium France
9 Spain Spain
10 Portugal Portugal
11 Brazil Brazil
12 Colombia (96,233) Colombia (96,411)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,946) Peru  (5,950)
2 Czech Republic (2,839) Czech Republic (2,841)
3 Brazil Brazil
4 Argentina Argentina
5 Colombia Colombia
6 Belgium (2,198) Belgium (2,203)
7 Italy (2,171) USA (2,200)
8 USA (2,159) Italy (2,176)
9 Mexico (2,134) Mexico (2,159)
10 Tunisia (2,081) Tunisia (2,090)


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 Serbia  5,745 Lithuania  5,431
2 Mongolia  4,814 Latvia  5,181
3 Lithuania Serbia
4 Romania Romania
5 Latvia Estonia
6 Estonia Mongolia
7 UK  3,475 Georgia
Cuba Singapore
9 Slovenia UK  3,737
10 Georgia Slovenia
11 Singapore Armenia
12 Israel  2,415 Turkey  2,413


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Items below include more on the new darling drug, molnupiravir, an interesting claim about Congress, an update on what to do if infected with Covid, and another strange thing about vaccination rates.




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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