Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 20 January, 2022

The new “order your free Covid tests” website astonished everyone by going live a day early.  It turns out to be a front-end into the USPS website – the USPS does the address verification and shipping of the test kits.

If you don’t have a distinct different address from other people who have already ordered tests, or if your address is considered to be a commercial address, you will not be able to order tests.  In my case, a friend uses my address as a forwarding address, because it is permanent, and they move around.  I got a message from them telling me they’d discovered this wonderful site and had ordered some free tests for themselves, asking to be told when they arrived.

So that meant, when I tried to order tests for me, I couldn’t, because my address has already received its official allocation.

Somewhat surprisingly, it seems that on Thursday night it is still possible to order tests on the site.  Have they not run out yet?  Or are they accepting orders but holding them until more supplies become available?  The site simply says that tests will start shipping in late January, whatever that means.

Of course, if you’ve not yet ordered the four tests that each residential address is entitled to, you should quickly do so.

How often have you heard the term “all scientists agree that …..” as an introduction to a claim that some contentious concept is actually a unanimously held truth.  It is only slightly different from the customer service script that starts off by saying “You’re the only one to complain/have this problem”.

The thing about such claims is that science is not a popularity contest, nor is it a democracy.  Most of the truly universally accepted scientific understandings today started off as dissenting and minority views, flying in opposition to the previous conventional wisdom.  Science proves itself by being challenged and surviving or evolving from such challenges, not by stilling and silencing them.  The “scientific method” even requires science “facts” to be both provable and repeatable.  Sure, back in the middle ages, conventional wisdom and religious dogma (dogma that had no basis in Biblical truth) got to rule the day for hundreds of years, but – at least in theory – we’ve moved on from that.

A researcher wonders if that is so.  She wrote an article analyzing some of the VAERS data reporting negative outcomes after Covid vaccinations, finding some alarming correlations between the vaccinations and illnesses.  She had it published on an Elsevier scholarly journal website, only for it to subsequently mysteriously disappear off the publisher’s website, with the publisher refusing to tell her why.  The journal’s communications officer also refused to say why when a reporter asked.

There’s a difficulty not equating “refusing to give a reason” with “had no reason” – other than that of acceding to pressure from big pharma.

So, the situation remains that there are very few negative articles published about the vaccines.  But that is not the same as saying there are very few articles raising concerns, it is just that, for reasons that clearly have nothing to do with the scholarly nature of the articles and their reasoning, the articles are not being accepted for publication.

The EU is now warning against having too many booster shots for fear it may become counter-productive in terms of how the body reacts to the vaccines and subsequently to the virus.  Not clear in this article is how many is too many, although the warning was made in the context of Israel advocating for a fourth shot.

Did you know that the vaccines are shipped in concentrated form and then are diluted prior to being administered.  That’s a fairly simple and automatic process.  Add a measured quantity of sterile water or saline solution to a vial of concentrated vaccine, give it a stir, and off you go.  So how to comprehend the staggering incompetence at Kaiser in Oakland, California, where 4,000 people may have received incorrectly diluted vaccine doses?  The only good thing, if it is indeed good, is that the doses were too weak rather than too strong.

How is it possible to be so stupid, but trusted with a syringe and no oversight?

Talking about betrayals of trust and abject idiocy, what about requring still-infected staff to report for work in senior-care nursing homes?  That would seem to be approaching the level of criminal negligence.

Current Numbers

One of the points of greatest uncertainty is how many Covid cases go uncounted.  At present, some people are suggesting that only one in ten new Covid cases are being officially counted.

It is difficult to argue either for or against such claims, because, by definition, it is hard to be exact when it comes to uncounted cases.  But it is interesting to note the many countries that now have over 100,000 Covid cases per million people.  If they are under-counting ten-fold, then that would mean everyone in such countries has been infected once and some people have been infected twice (or more).

Indeed, look at Andorra, below.  With 42,500 new cases per million people in just the last week, if they are only counting one in ten cases, that means almost half the entire population got Covid last week.  Oh, and the same for the preceding week and the preceding week, too!  It would mean that on average, everyone in the country has been infected four times.  In the US, multiplying the official count by ten would mean everyone has been infected twice, and that’s very unlikely to be correct.

Clearly these are all nonsense claims.  I will concede that some Covid cases do go uncounted, but as to what that percentage is, it is nowhere like the astronomical numbers some people are suggesting.

Also of note in the minor country list, the world’s most vaccinated country has gone up the list and is now in third place.

France has moved up to the second place in the major country list.  Romania corrected its death count, but remains in third place. in the death list.  And, as always, the usual wild swings in the most active countries last week.

In Europe, Moldova and the Czech Republic both suffered over 100% increases in new cases last week.  Ukraine was at 92%, Romania at 84%, and Latvia at 80%.

Ireland dropped 56%, the UK dropped 32%, the same as Greece, and Finland is down 17%.  France is up 15% and Germany rose 46%.  Europe as a whole saw an 11% rise in cases.

In North America, Canada dropped by 28%, and Mexico rose by 52%, although its actual cases per million people is still not quite half that of Canada.  The US had a 12% drop in cases (but still three times the level of Canada and seven times the level of Mexico).

South Africa astonishingly dropped its case numbers yet again, by 38% down to a mere 431 new cases per million, less than one tenth that of Canada.  Africa as a whole enjoyed a 10% drop in new cases.

Asia had a rise of 42% (mainly due to India), South America was up 33% (mainly Argentina and Brazil), and Oceania dropped by 13%, the same as largest Oceania country, Australia.

The world overall had a 10% rise in cases.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Andorra (373,112)Andorra (415,727)
3SeychellesGibraltar (338,293)
4Gibraltar (308,825)Montenegro
5St BarthSt Barth
6San MarinoSan Marino
10Ireland (211,282)Faeroe Islands (243,088)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (238,582)Czech Republic (249,424)
2UK (218,724)France (238,186)
3France (202,152)UK (228,133)
4Netherlands (201,563)Belgium (220,718)
5Belgium (201,181)Netherlands (216,406)
6USA (195,332)USA (211,203)
12Italy (135,194)Italy (155,961)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Peru  (6,034)Peru  (6,049)
2Czech Rep  (3,423)Czech Rep  (3,443)
3Romania (3,135)Romania (3,121)
4Brazil (2,888)Brazil (2,895)
5Poland (2,684)Poland (2,736)
6USA (2,603)USA (2,646)
7Argentina (2,570)Argentina (2,592)
8Colombia (2,526)Colombia (2,545)
10Italy (2,324)Italy (2,364)


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

RankOne Week AgoToday
1France  31,408Israel  43,795
2Ireland  30,354France  36,037
3Australia  27,658Denmark  34,849
12Argentina  16,753Sweden  17,406


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, all the 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 what does the Elizabeth Holmes case tell us about the effectiveness of the FDA, is a “mild” Covid case truly mild, a new but very slow study into ivermectin, testimony to a Senate Committee on ivermectin, Israel observes little benefit from a fourth vaccine dose, a new type of vaccine under development, great news in the US, you now have to be fully vaccinated to visit the US (and triply vaccinated to visit HI), and the Chinese are about to set an example in trying to Cathay flight attendants.




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 20 January, 2022”

    1. I don’t understand why they have that role, either. As is shown by the article you linked to, and their extremely belated decision to go slightly hands-off on Covid testing.

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