Thursday, July 08, 2021

how many more will die?

As the UK govt. (henceforth referred to as the Death Eaters) has now switched its Covid "strategy" to pouring fuel on the fire, I wondered how many more will die as a consequence of this reckless disregard for public health.

They say hospitalisations and deaths are now uncoupled from the case numbers thanks to the vaccination, but that's another lie. They are still coupled, just with a larger factor. If the risk of death was 2% before vaccinations, it may end up at 0.2 percent with everybody vaccinated and 90% protected by the vaccine. But let's look at where the factor stands now.

Dividing the cases in the seven days up to 23.6. (79,481) by the deaths in the seven days up to 7.7., i.e. two weeks later, that's 161 deaths, I get a factor of 494, so a 0.2 % risk of dying if you had a positive test. Not a risk I'd fancy taking, but 10 times better than before the vaccines.

This number has improved in the last five weeks:

9.6. 284
16.6. 382
23.6. 415
30.6. 489
7.7. 494

This looks like a move in the right direction, but note that the last weekly increase has shrunk significantly, so it looks as if we may have reached the limit of the improvement that we can get out of vaccines. Worth keeping an eye on that number.

So let's assume that of the people tested positive, on the order of 1/500 will die. So two million further infections by the end of this month (as admitted by the Death Eaters) may mean 4,000 additional deaths. Another 8 million in August (remember more than 20 million people will still be not fully protected), even if the curve will go down then, another 16,000. So I reckon 20,000 additional deaths before the third wave recedes are a realistic estimate.

Or if you prefer your horror in daily doses, 160,000 daily cases by August 7 would mean 320 daily deaths around August 21. The associated burden on the health system may well mean that we'll need another lockdown to avert collapse. And then there is the even bigger issue of long Covid, which the Death Eaters studiously avoid to mention.

And this is still under the optimistic / unlikely assumption that the virus doesn't evolve. In fact though, it does evolve, and it may very well find a way around the vaccine. As many people have pointed out, if you wanted to do a huge experiment to evolve a virus that is resistant to vaccines, letting it run wild in a partially vaccinated population is exactly the way you would do it (assuming you had no care for ethical concerns whatsoever).

This number looks a bit too high ... a recent anti-vaxxers demo I stumbled across at Carfax, Oxford (own photo).

Some fresh resources:

Mass infection is not an option: we must do more to protect our young (Deepti Gurdasani et al. in The Lancet)

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