Where Is the Coronavirus Story Going?

I saw some reports from Reuters this morning:

“TOKYO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine contamination woes in Japan have widened with another million doses being temporarily suspended, after foreign substances were found in more batches and two people died following shots from affected lots.

The suspension of Moderna supplies, affecting more than 2.6 million does in total, comes as Japan battles its worst wave of COVID-19 yet, driven by the contagious Delta variant, with new daily infections exceeding 25,000 this month for the first time amid a slow vaccine rollout.”

“Japan earlier halted the use of 1.63 million Moderna doses, shipped to 863 vaccination centres nationwide after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical received reports of contaminants in some vials.

Some 500,000 people received shots from those supplies, Taro Kono, the minister in charge of the vaccine push, has said.

Moderna and Spanish pharma company Rovi, which bottles Moderna vaccines for markets other than the United States, said at the time that the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in one of Rovi’s production lines.

Takeda said on Monday that the investigation is ongoing.

Rovi shares plunged more than 20% in early trade.”


Here are the Covid infection graphs for France

United Kingdom

And Israel

In two of the “most” vaccinated countries UK and Israel, the case numbers are on the up. The quicker acting and more decisive Israelis have started giving a third booster shot to its population.

I am wondering if viral complacency is setting in, or a kind of fatigue, with imagined immunity causing risky behaviours.

In the UK massive festivals are underway and football is back on…

The UK will overtake France in terms of total number of Covid cases soon. It is again climbing the charts so to speak.

I have heard that UK univesities are putting on charter flights to bring fee paying Chinese students to help fill their depleted coffers, with a few Yuan…

Here mask wearing is still mandatory indoors in many places and the prefecture has introduced it in popular places externally as well. In the centre of our local town, you now have to wear a mask outdoors and whenever you are waiting in line. The restrictions will be reduced late September. Our incidence is ~150 per 100,000. The number of double vaccinated is up and I had to show my Pass Sanitaire before they let me into the clinic the other day. It was my first colonoscopy wearing a surgical mask. They even repositioned it over the oxygen feed.

It looks as if maintaining mask wearing keeps the numbers down and it has the psychological reminder inherent.

The fat lady has not yet sung, the pandemic is not over. The surge of “yeah we are free” optimism has started to fade. The irreversibility touted by Boris is not looking quite as irreversible as he may have hoped. This looks to be a long haul thing.

It looks like, depending on the Israel data, we shall all be getting a third booster shot. Ours will be from Moderna, the made in Spain variety.

Companies will be trialing, like Moderna is, their vaccines 2.0 and 3.0.

These companies will be onto a nice litte earner for the forseeable future, a nice ongoing revenue stream.


Covid – Exponential Fits

I have listened to the morning news and the UK government are starting to back pedal a little about so-called “freedom day”.

The quality of fit for exponential growth continues to improve. This empirical fit predicts ~55,000 cases on freedom day. It does not include any factors such as mass quasi-religious-football-events at the Holy Shrine of Wembley.

The quality of fit for the French data is poorer, but the numbers here are on the up as well. We have ~ 4,500 as opposed to ~35,000 per day.

Once again the UK is leading and will climb the Covid case number chart, pop-pickers.

The so called Delta variant is here and if I understand it correctly the Lambda variant is in the UK.

I know let’s fill Wembley Way with pissed up, sweaty people gobbing on each other with glee as the spirit of 1966 is reborn, ING-GER-LAND…

Whisky Tango Foxtrot…

It is coming home – football or SARS-CoV-2?

Isn’t it moronic, don’t you think?

Alanis Morissette

Hey man that car crash has started. Tonight, tens of thousands of pissed up Brits will watch a gladiatorial contest. They will sing and hug and spit on each other. They will sweat and jump up and down. They will prematurely celebrate Freedom Day.

Surf is up bro’.

Here comes the wave…


The world is watching, and do you really think that this kind of shit will attract investment?

A safe pair of hands?


The Wisdom of Irrevocable Assertion.

I am getting a bad feeling about this. A not yet peer reviewed pre-print.

Some people cannot ever admit that they are wrong or so it seems. They can dig for themselves a hole with the spade of pride. They can refuse to see what is happening before their eyes because they MUST be right. Macho bullshit can lead to a new pile of corpses because until their “position” becomes so obviously untenable they will refuse to admit any error. By the time it is untenable it is already too late.

We are hearing crazy PR terms like messaging.

I hope that this hole digging dynamic does not come into play. Once one has bigged something up so big, it is much harder to back down.

Am I Missing Something or Is Confirmation Bias at Work?

Before we had our Moderna vaccination the doctor advised us to take some paracetamol and prescribed some for the next few days. This seems a sensible way to approach side-effects.

I can be pretty sure that I am building an immune response because I had a mild fever and was dripping with sweat all last night.

We tend to watch both French and UK news. The UK Conservative party coverage is all about “hey look we did a great vaccine roll out, don’t pay any attention to our other failings focus only on the vaccine. It is that and not all the confinement measures which has halted circulation. All hail the great vaccine campaign.” But the numbers are going up, now that people are circulating again and even when there is substantial vaccination coverage.

This empirical only exponential fit suggests >20,000 case per day in three weeks’ time. There are currently around 8,000 cases a day.

Here in France the numbers are going down, currently around 3,000 cases a day. The vaccination campaign is not so advanced. And there has been much less restrictive lock downs although there has been curfew. I guess the idea is work, earn money and keep the economy going. Then go home to bed {alone}, without getting pissed up at the pub on the way home.

If it is all down to the vaccine campaign, then how come the numbers are rising in a heavily vaccinated population. The Tories are pitching it as a race vaccination versus virus. This is not the 3:30 at Ascot old chap.

Here is a mild hypothesis.

Because people want so badly to go back to normal in a so-called irrevocable manner, they are not able to see what the data are telling them. {Again} They have become complacent.

Maybe I am missing something…

The Dangers of Hype and Bragging

When uncle Boris started talking about an irrevocable exit from pandemic, I thought to myself “that is a pretty stupid thing to say. Talk about setting potentially unrealistic expectations.”

Now people are talking about Freedom Day. Oh dear.

Unless you have worked extensively with non-linear equations it is really easy to misunderstand. Most people have linear only thinking.

Back when things started to kick off in the USA, I started doing a naïve, no assumption modelling of the incoming data. A simple exponential fit predicted very well the initial and fast ramp up in case numbers.

I have had a little play with the most recent UK case numbers.

This ultra-naïve model which does not as yet fit very well predicts over 7000 cases a day in a couple of weeks, rising reasonably quickly to over ten thousand.

The so-called irrevocability is very much in the balance…