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

I Am Not a Doctor, But….

I’m not sure which part of the molnupiravir situation is the more offensive – the lack of trialing and testing, or the extraordinary markup and profit Merck stands to make on a drug that was partly funded by us in the first place.

I’d earlier reported a 400% markup.  I was wrong – those zeroes get easy to lose track of with drug company margins.  It is not a 400% markup.  It is a 4,000% markup, as this article explains.

Ivermectin and other Existing Treatments

Here’s an interesting claim.  It is unverified, and, by its nature, unverifiable.  But its source – Dr Pierre Kory, one of the stalwart advocates for off-the-shelf early treatment of Covid infections – is highly credible and due to his central role, perhaps in a position to have some knowledge.  He is claiming that between 100 – 200 Members of Congress and their families and/or staffers have been treated with ivermectin and the rest of the Frontline Covid Critical Care Alliance treatment protocols.  Oh, and none of them have needed hospitalization.

His point is that the same people who are sitting, mute, in Congress and allowing the ivermectin lies to be promulgated with the force of law by the FDA and other groups are quietly using it, successfully, to treat themselves.

And, here’s a page to bookmark or even print out and keep for reference – it is the current version of the FLCCC treatment protocols.  This is the 17th version of the protocol, dated 24 September 2021; self-evidently, as new information comes out from time to time, the FLCCC updates their protocol to follow the best knowledge and state-of-the-art practices.

Make sure you have all these medicines on hand, in case you should find yourself or a loved one needing them.  Don’t end up as a newspaper headline – another dying patient in hospital while the doctors refuse to treat you.

Timings And Numbers

On Thursday I expressed surprise at some inconsistencies in the tracking data of vaccination rates – the count of people vaccinated is rising at a rate inconsistent with (ie slower than) that implied by the same data.

Here’s another puzzle.  Probably your guessed-at understanding is the same as mine.  To start with, there was a mad scramble by countries to get vaccine doses.  But wouldn’t you guess, as pharmaceutical companies the world over have brought more manufacturing on-stream, that world-wide, we’d see daily vaccination rates rising steadily?

Now look at the chart above.  For the entire world, we reached a max vax rate on 27 June, and currently, the rate is half what it was back then.  Why are global vaccination rates dropping?  Staying steady, I could understand.  Rising, I could surely understand.  But dropping?

This second table shows where the doses are going, counting by dose numbers, rather than by percentage of population being dosed.  It doesn’t really explain anything, but it does show that “all the action” is in Asia – our “vaccine hesitancy” in the US doesn’t really impact on the dropping numbers at all.

We’re told Africa is desperate for vaccines.  But their vaccination rate is dropping.  Maybe that’s because they can’t afford to buy more? Australia and New Zealand are also desperate for more vaccines, and they can surely afford it.  Their rate has been level for six weeks.  In total, 35% of the world has been vaccinated.  That leaves a lot of potential for more vaccinating; why are daily numbers dropping rather than staying level or rising?

I’m not suggesting anything nefarious in this, just something really puzzling.  I really wish at least one single simple aspect of the virus and our response to it could be simple, transparent, logical, and understood.

But even the source data remains highly suspect and changing.  This article explains how the definition of “confirmed Covid case” continues to be surprisingly subjective.  Can’t we even agree on that?

Another regrettable reminder that there’s little consistency in how/when cases are counted. See : Nevada among last states to add rapid tests to virus tally

This is a fascinating visualization of how Covid has waxed and waned over the months in the US.  But what does it mean?  What does it portend for the future?  I’d expressed surprise, on Thursday, at some “experts” saying we will not have any more major Covid outbreaks.  But, wait a day or two, and the truth will change, and now that rather bold statement is being met with questioning and uncertainty (as indeed it should).

Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Thursday.


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