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New COVID Variants, Various Lockdown Measures, Gradual Vaccine Rollout, Twice-Weekly COVID Testing; But Are We Winning or Losing the Coronavirus Battle?

There’s a lot happening in the UK with regards to the ongoing Coronavirus battle: The question is; Are we winning or losing the battle to this disease?

The good news is that 47.2% of Britons have received at least one dose of (any kind of) COVID-19 vaccine, and fatalities have fallen to 35 persons per (7-day) week, according to the latest JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data presented on April 3, 2021.

People in England who wish to be tested for COVID-19 are able to access twice-per-week testing, which should allow better tracking of potentially infected persons or sooner treatment for already infected persons.

And some people are still abiding by the various Lockdown measures. Thank you for doing your civic duty!


But is the UK Winning or Losing the Battle to this Disease?

Some 4.36 million Britons have contracted COVID-19 and 127,000 have (so far) died from the novel Coronavirus.

Although in the early days before it was well understood, cause of death statistics didn’t include a virus, that back then, hadn’t been identified. I think it’s likely that the official UK COVID death toll will eventually turn out to be approximately double the presently accepted death toll, as many cases were (via forensic analysis) retroactively found in France, Iran and Southeast Asia as far back as August 2019. All the places that Britons and others travel to and from on a regular basis.

And people are continuing to die from this disease at a rate of 35 per week, and worse, new variants of COVID-19 are reported to be more transmissible.

We could be one Coronavirus mutation away from a much more serious pandemic.

Yet some people still AREN’T abiding by the various Lockdown measures. There will be no ‘Thank You’s’ for endangering every unvaccinated person in the country!


It’s Likely to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

More than anything, an improvement in the COVID statistics depends upon how willing Britons are to follow the regional plethora of Lockdown regulations, and much less depends upon the speed of vaccinations up and down the country, as virus retransmission (which boasts an exponential growth rate) can easily outpace the rate of vaccination (which has a geometric growth rate, at best).

And that’s assuming there’s no more delay in obtaining the vast quantities of Coronavirus vaccine required to inoculate the (as yet unvaccinated) 36-million people TWICE (for a total of 72-million individual doses).

It’s a lot to assume that the UK’s COVID pandemic won’t get worse — and perhaps much, much, worse — before it gets better. Because at this point, more could go wrong than right.

The UK is only one COVID variant, or one major vaccine delivery shortfall, (or both), away from utter social, healthcare and economic catastrophe. Respectfully, govern yourselves accordingly and remember ‘Murphy’s Law’ — if something can go wrong, it will.


Image courtesy of STATISTA.COM

Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in the United Kingdom (UK) 2021

Published by Conor Stewart, Mar 31, 2021 at STATISTA.com

On March 6, 2020, the first death as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) was recorded in the United Kingdom (UK). The number of deaths in the UK has increased significantly since then. As of March 30, 2021, the number of confirmed deaths due to coronavirus in the UK amounted to 126,670. On January 20, 2021, 1,820 deaths were recorded, which is the highest total in single day in the UK since the outbreak began.

Number of deaths highest in Europe

The UK has had the highest number of deaths from coronavirus in Europe. In terms of rate of coronavirus deaths, the UK has the fourth-highest rate compared to the countries in the EEA. As of March 21, the UK has recorded 189 deaths per 100,000, which is only lower than the mortality rates in Belgium, Slovenia, and Czechia.

Cases in the UK

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK was 4,341,736 as of March 30, 2021. London has the highest number of confirmed cases of the virus in the UK with 711,083 cases, while the North West and the South East have 598,512 and 533,519 confirmed cases respectively. As of March 29, the UK has had 55 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.


Finally, check out the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) here.


Will ‘Working from Home’ become ‘The New Normal’ in Britain?

The head of Goldman Sachs, CEO David Solomon, told a conference today that working from home won’t be an option for Goldman Sachs employees and suggested it’s “an aberration” instead of the new normal.

Mr. Solomon says that GS needs its employees at the office and that the new crop of interns expected this summer won’t be able to buy-in to the company’s corporate culture without the ‘mentoring’ of new employees.

“In particular Mr Solomon was worried about an incoming “class” of about 3,000 new recruits, who wouldn’t get the “direct mentorship” they need. “I am very focused on the fact that I don’t want another class of young people arriving at Goldman Sachs in the summer remotely,” he said.” — BBC

While some might be skeptical, I believe there are some organizations that don’t work were employees to work from home.

One example might be the military. Obviously, wars need to be fought where the war is actually occurring.

Another might be airline pilots — but hey, the future is happening every day! — and one day soon airline pilots might be flying their passengers from one end of the country to the other via their home computer, “Honey, don’t spill your Pepsi on Daddy’s keyboard, he’s busy flying his plane,” Hehehe.

In fact, the entire tourism sector would be impossible to manage using work from home employees, although certain positions might be able to be moved off-site, such as check-in staff, accounting department, and other jobs that don’t require a human to be present.


Legitimate Exceptions Aside, There’s a Huge Societal Upside to Working from Home

Let’s pretend that fully half of all UK jobs could be accomplished via work from home. That isn’t out of the realm of possibility, IMHO.

That means half as many people driving or taking the train to and from the workplace — which would cut traffic congestion in UK cities, and the trains might run on time and not be packed with (potentially) COVID-breathing human beings — all the way to the workplace and all the way home.

Office towers might become lightly populated during the week, although they might open 7-days-a-week, as opposed to Monday-Friday only.

All of which would save Britain’s NHS billions annually on account of far fewer patients catching respiratory illnesses such as, but not limited to COVID-19 and its subsequent variants, and the UK would be on track to meet its Paris Agreement CO2 reduction obligations. Both benefits are very good things for the UK.

Instead of people spending a small fortune on petrol, car insurance, train tickets, bus and/or taxi fares, not to mention all the money they usually spend on work-related clothing and fashion accessories, they’d be spending it on home improvements — like creating a decent office space in the home, or a workshop, and better internet, computer, and mobile phone connectivity.

If they spend the same amount fixing-up their home office or workshop as they used to spend to get back and forth to work — it’s likely to be a good investment as improvements to the property would be reflected in the value of the home and its final selling price should they ever decide to sell.

Time to invest in big box home improvement stores!

 

Written by John Brian Shannon


Digital roles top the list of jobs on the rise in 2021 (World Economic Forum)

Work from Home technologies likely to be adopted by 2025. WEF


How to Protect Britons AND Help Developing Nations Beat COVID-19

It seems that everyone wants to vaccinate 100% of the people in the UK so Britons can feel safe, AND ONLY THEN, send surplus UK vaccines to developing nations to help them beat COVID-19. Which sounds reasonable on the face of it. After all, why should Britons risk thousands more deaths in the country in order to help others who live oceans away from the UK?

However, this is a false narrative and any epidemiologist worth their salt will tell you so…


By Vaccinating Only 64% of a Given Population, You Effectively Prevent Re-Transmission of the Virus

Yes, it’s a fact. If you live in the UK, Australia, or Canada (for three easy examples) and your healthcare system has vaccinated 64% of the population against a virus, they’ve effectively beaten that virus. Forever!

“How can that be?” you ask.

It’s because the remaining 36% of the population AREN’T riding in the same elevator. Obviously.

Further, within that 36% group, responsible adults these days are wearing a face mask and washing their hands frequently.

Additionally, many people in that 36% cohort have already had the virus — either knowingly or asymptomatically — therefore, they can neither catch COVID-19 nor pass it on to other people. That’s important to know. Which may turn out to be the best immunity of all, because that’s how nature has been saving us from pathogens for millennia and the proof it works is that there’s now 7.8 billion of us on planet Earth.

Of course, this assumes that entry to the UK is restricted to those who’ve either had the virus or received a vaccination — in either case, they aren’t able to re-transmit the Coronavirus to Britons.

However, EVEN IF the borders were thrown wide open, once you’ve vaccinated 64% of the population in the country it’s almost impossible for the re-transmission of COVID-19 to occur because many of the non-vaccinated 36% of Britons will have already had the disease (making it impossible for them to either catch or re-transmit COVID-19) or will be wearing masks and washing their hands frequently (making it almost impossible for them to either catch or re-transmit COVID-19) or those Britons will never come into close contact with visitors from another country (who WON’T have COVID-19 because they were properly screened before they boarded an aircraft to carry them to the UK)

Ergo, the chances of Coronavirus-infected visitors to the UK infecting Britons with COVID-19 are almost nil once 64% of Britons have been vaccinated.


Why Doesn’t the NHS Vaccinate 64% of Britons & Then Send the Surplus Vaccine to Developing Nations?

So obviously, that’s the thing to do!

Once the UK hits the magic number of 64% of Britons vaccinated — and with continued screening at the country’s borders for potentially infected visitors, and with proper mask-wearing and proper hand-washing for Britons, there’s no reason for ‘lockdown’ to continue, for closed ports of entry to the UK, or for quarantining of visitors to the UK — the rest of the UK vaccine supply can then be re-routed to developing nations that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

In that way, next year’s UK farm workers (many of whom hail from Commonwealth nations) will have been vaccinated courtesy of UK Foreign Aid, thereby helping to keep the UK’s food production safe and able to meet demand uninterrupted throughout the UK’s extended harvest season.

By making surplus vaccines available to those developing Commonwealth nations, the UK protects its home-grown food production and can credit the value of those vaccines against the UK Aid budget as a payment-in-kind, thereby helping to maintain the UK’s committent to spend .7% of its GDP on foreign aid.

And that’s the way it’s done people! Stick with science AND help developing nations to vaccinate their people — some of whom will be picking your fruit and veg in the coming months. Think about it…

Written by John Brian Shannon


Related Articles:

  • Vaccine optimization for COVID-19: Who to vaccinate first? (ScienceMag.org)