Association is not causation – leave the clots to it!

It is rare for the Covid actuaries to drop their guard, but this exchange shows how they can articulate the frustration that most of us are feeling about the vaccine hesitancy of some close neighbors. The humour may be dry but I found a tear in my eye reading this exchange!


Inexplicable clots

I had four pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in November 2019; because they were “unprovoked”, they have been linked to Covid, which hadn’t officially arrived in England till three months after my embolisms were found. The embolisms were taken up by one doctor as a sign that Covid was in the UK in Q4 2019 , I was even asked for an interview.

I imagine the Danes found to have similarly unprovoked embolisms are the cause of , and subject of , much public scrutiny. “It was the Oxford jab wot dunnit” – goes out the cry, just as Pfizer’s vaccine was responsible for one person giving up smoking and another taking smoking up.

But there are many things in medical science and life that go unexplained. I had a period when I felt I needed to know the cause of my embolisms and was calmed down by my doctor (who could see the harm in my fretting) by plainly telling me “you’re a clotter”. I guess this is better than being a “clot” , which I would have been if I’d gone on worrying.


The unexplained

John Kay gave a great lecture to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, which ended with him talking of Switzerland, a country that had avoided any sense of adventure, any attempt to reach beyond the borders of the known. “What had 400 years of prudence produced” asked Kay

The cuckoo clock

And so ends entrepreneurship, so ends ambition.

So Europe will not get jabbed, and may try to stop us getting jabbed. So financial economists will persist in de-risking our financial structures and so Switzerland will continue to be boring. Everyone looking for the certainty of the perfectly known.

It is the unexplained that makes us brave, “intimations of immortality”  –  Wordsworth called them. Tell this to the Swiss  as they lock themselves down in their cocoon of certainty.

…in a season of calm weather
                      Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
                      Which brought us hither,
                Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore

Association to come!

You can look into blood clots as much as you like, but you’ll still be in lockdown at Christmas! I’ll finish this morning knowing that we at least – have an expectation of normality – for all the fearsome risks we’re taking! For which happy sentiment, I have the Covid actuaries to thank – again!

Feel free to associate those tweets!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Association is not causation – leave the clots to it!

  1. Richard Bryan says:

    Cuckoo clocks were traditionally made in the Black Forest, not Switzerland. I believe that Orson Wells in The Third Man originated that much-quoted and incorrect saying.
    Switzerland actually has two large pharmaceutical companies, two leading scientific universities (with several Nobel Prizes), and plenty of other hi-tech industry. Plus mountains and chocolate. Not boring at all.

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