A library of COVID-19 actuarial responses

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When I posted this library,  the actuaries who’ve blogged had no central library of their work. So I published their articles on my blog and curated them here. All the articles they’ve written have also been published on linked in  – since Easter I have been building up this resource and I’m pleased to say that the actuaries now have their own website where you can see the originals together. I will continue to post blogs form the COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group here .

To kick off – here’s a message from Stuart McDonald who provides me with content from the group

Stuart mc

Stuart McDonald

Matt Edwards

Matthew Edwards

Covid19 an actuary’s view    This blog is mostly by Matthew Edwards and lays out the basic assumptions that actuaries were making about the spread of the virus, before interventions occurred. Knowing what we now know, the thought that we had a 1 in 2 chance of being infected in June, makes my sitting inside right now – easier to understand!


Not Stuart McDonald

Has over half of the UK already been exposed to Covid19?  Here Stuart McDonald explains why he is sceptical of the claims of a group of researchers from Oxford University that many of us are immune. He points out that without better evidence, this could lead to complacency – in case you were making for the door.


Nicola Oliver

Here Nicola Oliver answers our question “What is a Coronavirus”. In which we learn it is not a very nice virus at all.


Matt Fletcher

Here is Matt Fletcher calling into question some dodgy conclusions from the Electical Department of Imperial College;  Social distancing – the UK is not like China

Adrian Pinnington

Adrian Pinington

Next up is Adrian Pinington’s article explaining the difference between Suppression and Mitigation and how our Government changed horses mid-stream.

Joseph Lu

Joseph Lu

Joseph Lu gives us a history of the modelling that has happened so far.

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In this- our first co-authored update, Nicola and Matt give us a weekly update at the beginning of April.

Matt Edwards

Matthew is back looking at the myth that most of Covid 19’s victims are already on death row.

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Mohammed Khan and Gary McInally

Here are Mohammed Khan and GaryMcInally on how actuaries have responded to a call to arms

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Matt Fletcher and Dan Ryan

Matt Fletcher and Dan Ryan round up the news for the second week of April


Nicola Oliver

Nicola Oliver on Capacity within the NHS

Nicola explains how surges in demand could cause the NHS problems and how supply and demand currently match


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Matt Fletcher and Dan Ryan

Covid-19 ; interpreting the deaths data

Based on the published data, Matt and Dan believe that it is as yet too early to say whether the number of daily deaths in the UK has peaked or even stabilised.



Peter Tompkins considers whether Lockdown will cause more deaths than keeping us at work.

He concludes that Lockdown does more good than ill


Tan Suee Chieh

Tan Suee Chieh’s unusual slideshow about Risk, Uncertainty, Psychology and Judgement during the Pandemic

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Matt and Nicola

Matt Fletcher and Nicola Oliver deliver the third weekly round up of the must-read articles.

Adrian baskir

Adrian Baskir

Adrian Baskir asks Could Covid-19 help the healthcare sector?

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In the April 24th weekly round up, Nicola and Matt discuss the events of the week and feature a goat from North Wales.

Joseph Lu

Joseph Lu explains how the virus kills; a clear and unsensational explanation

chris daykin

Chris Daykin looks into International Comparisons and finds out how the UK stacks up.

Matt Edwards

Matthew Edwards explains the risk factors behind COVID-19 analysis

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Matt Fletcher, Andrew Gache and Nicola Oliver give us a MayDay round up of the week’s developments,


Dermot Grenham looks at the data coming out of Africa.   He reaches an interesting conclusion


Nicola Oliver

Nicola Oliver tells you all you need to know about the vaccines and antivirals being tested against COVID-19

Dan Ryan

Dan Ryan argues that COVID-19 has raised the game of healthcare systems who are digitalising health records

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Nicola and Matt do another weekly round up – this time to May 8th.


Nicola Oliver  tells us what happens in intensive care

gordon woo

Gordon Woo explains what needs to be done to protect against a second wave of the virus.

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Nicola and Matt produce the weekly round up – to  16th May

Stuart mc

Stuart McDonald updates us on ICNARC and COVID-19


Louis Rossouw Compares the South African and UK responsest o COVID-19 and makes some interesting comments on the impact of easing the lockdown

chris daykin

Chris Daykin compares the UK experience of COVID- 19 to similar countries’ upgrading  and expanding his earlier article

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Stuart McDonald and Matthew Edwards

Stuart and Matthew compare two contrasting reports emanating from Stanford University.

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The 8th weekly round up is produced by Matt Fletcher and Nicola Oliver


Joseph Lu

Joseph Lu looks at the economic impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy and how we might recover.


The COVID -19 actuaries managed to presage the Government’s announcement on the wearing of facemasks on public transport by just under one hour. This was the article that precursed it – from Nicola Oliver


Here is the 10th bulletin , once again from Nicola Oliver and Matt Fletcher




Stuart McDonald writes about Rand the policy impact on it in the UK. The article is based on publicly available data.

squirrel 3

Here’s the 11th weekly bulletin, improbably exploring facilities for squirrels (among more important matters.


Here’s Nicola and Matt’s  12th weekly bulletin, where as well as the science, the focus shifts to pets.

Dan Ryan and Adrian Baskir produce a hard-hitting report on what really happened in our care homes.

Adrian and Dan

Adrian Baskir and Dan Ryan

Care homes – forgotten by us- not by Covid

The 13th weekly bulletinfinishes with a Covid-19 bookshelf – thanks again to Matt Fletcher and Nicola Oliver.


Nicola, Matt and Adrian ask if COVID-19 is seasonal


The 15th weekly bulletin examines data, infection and socially distanced bears


Is the treatment of COVID-19 in our hospitals becoming more effective ask Matt Edwards and John Roberts

Matt +

Matt Edwards and John Roberts

 The 16th weekly round up is touched by a kind of magic


Nicola Oliver looks at vaccines and asks how long we’ll be waiting for one in the first monthly medical bulletin


Louis Rossouw looks at South African COVID mortality  relative to the UK and around the world


Non Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group material that may be of interest

Though its not from the Covid-19 group, Graphs from John Burn-Mudoch and his team at the FT are not behind the FT paywall and are free to access.

Thanks to John whose tweets at  @jburnmurdoch  keep us up to date with the FT’s live charts. (Example below).

A graphic with no description

Another helpful set of charts have been produced by Jamie Jenkins  show how many of us are dying week by week each year going back 7 years

And this graph shows how it is for the over 85s

Here is a thread of tweets from Stuart Mcdonald (set in a blog), explaining the April 17 Icnarc numbers .

A week later Stuart did it all over again, with new numbers and new insights.

Behind all these charts and tables are human beings. I will give the final tweets to Sanjum Sethi – who explains what these numbers mean to people saving lives.



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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6 Responses to A library of COVID-19 actuarial responses

  1. Eugen N says:

    I think many people would have done a lot more, if there was more data available.

    For example testing 10,000 Londoners chosen from the Electorate register, to check how many asymptomatic people carrying the virus are out there.

    • henry tapper says:

      I’m sure you are right Eugen. I was rather surprised to hear Michael Gove imply that the target of 100,000 tests might not be met because there weren’t people to test. I am sure that there are many hundreds of thousands of people in Britain who would happily be tested on a voluntary basis.

  2. peteravel says:

    You didn’t see fit to include my diagram?

  3. Pingback: Covid-19 – interpreting the deaths data | AgeWage: Making your money work as hard as you do

  4. Pingback: Stay safe and wish ourselves a Happy Christmas. | AgeWage: Making your money work as hard as you do

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