Journal into the Unknown…(4)

Day 4: Wednesday March 18th

Warning: Not a day for the faint-hearted!!

I woke wondering what this day would bring.  Not much in the way of good news I’m sure.

Some of our relatives are working in environments where colleagues have been in contact with virus sufferers and are feeling understandably apprehensive.

Testing to go ahead much slower than the virus!

I see that testing is going to go up to 25,000 a day, whoopee!

Let’s unpick this a bit.  It is going to go up, ie it hasn’t yet. It is expected to go up to 25,000 within 4 weeks and that’s a long time, given the way the number of cases is going up. It actually specifies “hospital patients”, so it’s only for those who are sick enough to get in to a hospital. Just think about the implications of this statement.  In four weeks’ time they are expecting to be testing 25,000 hospital patients a day.  Now they may just have expressed themselves clumsily, they have been known to do this before after all, but even so it started me thinking.

Looking at the numbers (see below),  if we take the number of positive virus sufferers now at 2600, and notice that the present rate of increase is around doubling every three days, then in four weeks if things stay on an even keel …

We could be having around 350,000 new sufferers testing as positive every day.  Trouble is we wouldn’t be able to find out!  We wouldn’t have a fucking clue! We won’t be testing anyone who isn’t either in hospital or maybe in a critical support role and we wouldn’t have anywhere near that capacity.

So, I’m guessing that our planned testing regime may still leave a bit of room for improvement. To put it into an international picture, ten or eleven days ago, this “World beating” government of ours came in between the levels of Japan and The Netherlands on tests per million people.  This was behind Israel, Taiwan, Italy, Guangdong province and South Korea (whose testing rate was incidentally, well over ten times ours and who seem to be holding the spread at bay).   I wonder where we would stand as of today.

Venting about ventilators

I was looking at the figures for these devices and that was also a pretty scary experience.  Looking at Imperial College’s research – which the government is supposedly basing its planning on, in not very long, if things continue unchecked,  we will be looking at needing between 60,000  and 100,000 Ventilators in a week!   We currently have 5000.  No wonder they suddenly have a rocket up their collective arse!  They have known about this lamentable lack of emergency provision for the best part of a decade.

Now, this is a fluid situation with countries generally going flat out to increase their rates of Testing and Ventilator acquisition, some of them very successfully.  Ours seems to be farting around, asking people to build their own from old car parts.

Our media should be doing so much more than asking polite questions. They should be holding these clowns’ feet to the fire.  

Chorus : Get it done? Huh, Get a Grip more like!

Clog Popping to become new National Pastime?

Here’s hoping that deaths don’t keep increasing at the current rate because if they keep tripling every three days, over four weeks, we’ll be looking at astronomical numbers! Numbers so large I don’t trust my own calculations.  That reminds me, I also saw a post about a post that had complained that the scientists who railed against the government’s inertia here in the UK, were mainly “mathematicians”.  The implication being that this kind of creature had no place in criticising government health policy.  As the post about the post pointed out, this kind of crass lack of understanding about the role of statistical analysis in virology beggars belief.   Still never mind, we’ll all be dead soon at this rate and it’ll become an academic argument in a post-pandemic world!

Cumulative figures published Wednesday 18th March 2020.    

                        Tested             Positive           Deaths         Pos. diff     Death diff

17/3                 56221               2626                104                676                33

16/3                 50442               1950                 72                407                17

15/3                 44105              1543                55                171                20

14/3                 40279              1392                35                252                14      

13/3                   37746            1140                 21 

Chorus: Get it done? Huh, Get a Grip more like!

I think it’s time to scare the horses a little!

Our main response seems to be to talk in reassuring platitudes, with as little detail as possible, so as not to frighten the horses.

That won’t wash. We’ll have the cleanest hands imaginable, become stir crazy, and start acting out episodes of The Walking Dead.  Blimey,  in the US,  even  President Dump seems to be abandoning his state of denial and bowing to scientific opinion.

Frankly, its time for the circus to change its ringmaster, to face facts and be prepared to share them, to bring in a bit of honest competence to the fore, and stop these pathetic “Bulldog Spirit” sideshows where Johnson is clearly trying to look more and more like Churchill.  He bursts into the room in a hunched way, chin jutting out, flanked by two sidekicks, with Union Flags draped behind him and invokes wartime rhetoric in a wartime manner.   Just watch his performance with this in mind. What a windbag!

Oh Well, maybe things will be a bit clearer tomorrow.

PS sorry about the data tables couldn’t sort out the format and it looked fine in edit.

I’ll do better tomorrow – fingers crossed!

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