Latest numbers on second wave from COVID-19 ARG

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 Latest numbers on second wave from COVID-19 ARG

  1. Ros Altmann says:

    Looking at charts of current Covid trajectory relative to that in March April suggests a much less frightening picture. Why do trends only show the most recent weeks, when a proper comparison of deaths (not infection rates) and numbers admitted to hospital or ICU are most relevant to assess the situation more broadly? Genuine question. I am really puzzled that statistical charts are focussing only on the recent past which distorts the longer term perspective.

    • Jnamdoc says:

      Isn’t it interesting how we’ve stopped talking about Sweden. I assume the totalitarians are concerned that a different approach that’s allows people to make their own choices, works…

  2. henry tapper says:

    Hi Ros

    The COVID actuaries produce weekly bulletins which provide bigger picture stories and have done a large number of bulletins, everything they have produced is available at .

    They are not lobbying for any particular position and I try to feature all bulletins and twitter threads on this site – again without adopting a particular position.

  3. John Roberts says:

    I’m always nervous about comparisons with the first wave, which often come with a suggestion, implied or otherwise, that unless and until we reach those levels, everything is OK. As the families of 50,000+ lives who contribute to excess deaths statistics will testify, the first wave was far from OK, and we should be striving to avoid getting anywhere near those levels. More so, as the only way the health service was able to cope with the first wave was by cancelling much routine work, which has its own medium and long term health implications.

    Thus our focus is thus on the second wave, and how rapidly it is developing, which our graphs show. Hospital admissions are currently growing consistently at around 40% per week, and for those wanting a comparison with the first wave, it’s easily possible to see how quickly some regions may match the first wave.

    It’s clear that the gradient of growth is much less severe, as we would expect with a much better understanding of how to protect ourselves. That’s a really positive place to be in, and buys us some extra time to avoid the scenario we saw in April. But unless we get R below 1, growth will continue, and we will reach those levels, albeit in a matter of weeks, not the days we saw in late March.

    Outcomes are better too now, although the mortality rate is still too high for those entering hospital. But I don’t think we should underestimate the long term implications on the health of those who emerge from ICU units alive. And Long COVID appears to affect those who had a less severe bout of illness too – the health affects of this virus go way beyond the number of daily deaths reported.

    In conclusion, we’re looking at the dynamics of the current position, not looking over our shoulder to compare against the appalling situation we found ourselves in in the Spring. I don’t think such comparisons are helpful, other than to try and ensure we do much better this time.

  4. Mike Post says:

    Can you please explain where the quantity “Estimated Occurences” comes from in the graph of hospital deaths? On 17 October they have jumped to 25% of reported deaths.

  5. John Roberts says:

    They are an estimate using a common actuarial technique used in insurance claims based on observed reporting delays. The most recent days will always have the highest “add-ons”. The graph omits the last two days as we have found that there is considerable volatility in reporting to make them less reliable. For interest, the total for the 17th rose a further 10 to 106 today. Hope this is helpful.

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