Covid-19 Diary : Sunday February 13, 2022

 

One of the side effects of the intense controversies over issues that should be unemotional and factual – ie, things like Covid vaccines and treatments – is what I perceive to be a reluctance of the part of mistaken “experts” to confess their errors and publicly recant/reverse their earlier flawed advice and guidance.

Instead, we are told “the science has changed” (of course, te science never changes, water always flows downhill, etc) or changes are blamed on new virus variants (something everyone with their eyes open has expected), or on any of a number of inventive excuses that avoids needing to say “we were utterly and totally wrong”.

Another approach is simply to say nothing, or to credit the change not to the failure but the “success” of the previous policy.  That seems to be how Denmark is treating its rather extraordinary statement that it sees no reason to give out more Covid vaccines.  Instead, they suggest that due to the “success” of the vaccine, no more vaccination is needed.

Perhaps they read this report, suggesting that Covid antibodies in unvaccinated people who have formerly had a Covid infection are at least twice the level of people who have been double-vaccinated. I say “at least” not only because the specific measurement does tend to be at twice or more the level in unvaccinated people (remember the chart is using a logarithmic scale), but people who have had a Covid infection tend to have a broader line-up of immunities created, over and above any one single factor measured.

This is not a reason to go out and get infected, although I have to say – and I could be dead wrong about this, perhaps with the emphasis on the word dead – but based on casual observation of what is happening with omicron infections, particularly to people who had already had some type of vaccination, I’d be far from unhappy if I were to get an omicron infection now.  With the benefit of some residual vaccination protection, plus my medicine chest full of treatments, it seems to me much more likely that I’d defeat the virus and get strengthened and better lasting immunity.  One never knows if the next Covid variant might not become more severe again and if I’m going to get a Covid infection, currently it seems omicron is about as “good” as it gets.

Sadly, here in the US, our officials remain trapped in the endless loop of responding to any and every piece of news about Covid and the imperfections of the mRNA gene therapies with the refrain – “go get vaxed some more”.  Here’s a study that finds a fall off in third shot effectiveness, to which the study authors predictably say

The finding that protection conferred by mRNA vaccines waned in the months after receipt of a third vaccine dose reinforces the importance of further consideration of additional doses to sustain or improve protection

Current Numbers

The Faeroe Islands are again reporting that almost 10% of their entire population had a new Covid infection over the last week.  When we adjust that for asymptomatic cases and for people not bothering to report their infection, it is hard to guess at how many people really had a new infection over the last week.

Denmark suddenly “appeared from nowhere” and went straight to seventh place on the minor country list.

There were some dramatic changes in the major country list, too.  The Netherlands vaulted from fourth to first place, causing the Czech Rep, which for many months had seemed unreachable in first place, to drop another place down to third.

I must briefly mention the puzzle of Peru.  I think they may have miscounted Covid deaths some time back, or perhaps continue to miscount them now.  Their case fatality rate – almost 6% – is crazy-high compared to other countries in the world, as you can see hinted at in the death rate table (to get case fatality rates you need to compare case rate with death rate, so the death rate is only half the equation).

The countries with the most new cases last week table shows a general reduction in new case rates.

In Europe, Belarus with a 50% growth in cases had the greatest increase in case numbers.  Finland went up 40%, Russia 23%, and Denmark 12%.  At the other end, Sweden dropped 72%, Belgium dropped 53%, Switzerland was down 46% and Spain 45%.  France, Portugal and Albania all enjoyed 44% drops, the UK and Italy were both down 31%, and Germany had a small 3% rise.  Europe as a whole was down 18%.

Canada had a 34% drop in cases, Mexico was down 37%, and US probably dropped about 45%.

There seems no point to single out South Africa for special mention any more.  They had another drop in cases for the last week, a strong 11% drop, and in the future, unless something significant changes, I’ll not report on them, confining my reporting just to the aggregate result for Africa, which for the last week was a solid 30% drop in new cases.

Asia dropped 10%, South America dropped 25%, and Oceania was down 17%.  The world as a whole was down 20%.

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

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Faeroe Islands (488,324) Faeroe Islands (584,281)
2 Andorra (472,471) Andorra (479,442)
3 Gibraltar (405,316) Gibraltar (424,172)
4 Slovenia (382,055) Slovenia (407,703)
5 Seychelles San Marino
6 San Marino Seychelles
7 Montenegro Denmark
8 St Barth St Barth
9 Israel (342,757) Israel (367,371)
10 Georgia (330,557) Georgia (365,639)

 

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

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 France (316,901) Netherlands (333,474)
2 Czech Rep (301,150) France (331,397)
3 Portugal (287,311) Czech Rep (316,192)
4 Netherlands Portugal
5 Belgium Belgium
6 UK (260,070) UK (267,399)
7 USA (about 240,000) USA (about 244,000)
8 Sweden Sweden
9 Spain Spain
10 Greece Greece
11 Italy Italy
12 Argentina (187,313) Argentina (190,435)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (6,141) Peru  (6,173)
2 Czech Republic (3,487) Czech Republic (3,521)
3 Romania (3,186) Romania (3,237)
4 Brazil Brazil
5 Poland (2,821) Poland (2,62)
6 USA (2,772) USA (2,823)
7 Argentina Argentina
8 Colombia Colombia
9 Belgium Belgium
10 Italy (2,466) Italy (2,504)

 

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 Denmark  47,026 Denmark  52,489
2 Slovenia  44,360 Netherlands  38,411
3 Israel  39,287 Latvia  36,987
4 Georgia Georgia
5 Estonia Estonia
6 Netherlands  33,252 Norway
7 Latvia Slovenia
8 Portugal Lithuania
9 Bahrain Israel
10 Lithuania Austria
11 France Bahrain
12 Austria  25,170 Slovakia  22,706

 

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.

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Items below include WHO again underwhelms, Dr Fauci makes a meaningless statement, Dr Walensky seems to have a slightly different opinion to Fauci, a Johns Hopkins scientist gave a great statement explaining that many things the country have done are not science-based at all, a look at how omicron has and continues to impact on countries, the idiocy of our officials who create shortages for the most foolish of reasons, and the three things wrong with Universal Studios’ new mask policy.

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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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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