So how do we feel about Covid now?

Yesterday’s blog from the Covid 19 Actuarial Response Group , remarks – almost in passing

Since our last update two weeks ago prevalence in England is estimated to have increased from 4.9% to 7.6%, which is its highest figure recorded. Wales and Scotland have also seen sharp increases, with Scotland recording 9.0% last week, the highest ever recorded.

In contrast to the situation we’ve seen for a lot of the pandemic, there’s a much closer spread by age range now, with infection levels climbing rapidly in the older age groups. As an example the 70+ cohort level is modelled to have increased by 74% between the 12th and 26th March.

It contains a chart showing how the Omicron BA-2 variant is impacting the home nations

The record number of infections comes after the government ended coronavirus restrictions in England and rolled out its “living with Covid” strategy, which has brought an end to free tests.

So we  are running the strategy the Government originally intended and has always hoped it could safely implement – herd immunity.

These charts, taken from the FT’s ongoing survey of data from national statistical sources shows that though the UK has had quite a high number of reported “excess deaths” relative to other nations (right hand graph), adjusting for typical mortality rates, the five hardest hit countries worldwide where data is available are all in Latin America. Britain is now appearing midtable.

So we are at a stage where Covid is an inconvenience rather than an existential threat. 4000 people a day around the world are dying from Covid, but Covid related deaths in the UK are infrequent.

UK deaths – source Gov,

So how are we feeling about Covid now?

Lots of meetings are getting cancelled but saying to someone , “I’ve got Covid” is more likely to illicit sympathy than concern. People getting Covid right now are getting a milder variant and have much greater protection than those who got it in 2020 or early 2021.

But people are still having to stay in hospital because of Covid, the majority of them the unvaccinated

This suggests to me that most people are prepared to run with herd immunisation, know that the vulnerable are now well protected, or – if not – have chosen to stay vulnerable.

We are not particularly worried about coming up against infected people ( I sat opposite someone who was positive two weeks ago, he was kind enough to tell us – but perhaps it would be easier for us all if he hadn’t).

We all know of people with long-Covid but for those of us who’ve been infected and been lucky, there seems a feeling that we have other things to worry about. I do worry about friends with long covid all the same.

For the people I know, who have died, I feel the loss for their families. There is no timely death. But I am thankful for my health and that Covid has spared my family and close friends.

I am not sure I would feel differently , if I had a heart on the wall



But those hearts are fading with time and so will the impact of the pandemic. We have a new catastrophe to worry about and there remains the existential threat of the climate changing.

How does Covid make us feel?

We have learned to live with Covid and so long as we can remain immune to future variants, we will get on with life.

Covid isn’t front page news but it still dominates our lifestyles, The City is still relatively empty, homes are full of homeworkers. We live our lives on Zoom and Teams, our new life is gradually becoming normalised.

Our awareness of our health, of our capacity to damage the health of others and perhaps most important of all, our awareness of the vulnerabilities that come from age, ethnicity and poverty are also embedded.

Perhaps it’s not “how do we feel about Covid” but “how does Covid make us feel” that is the game changer.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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