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Coronavirus : Update 23 from the Epicenter

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The true numbers of Covid-19 deaths is continually questioned from both sides of the lockdown debate, with claims of rampant under and over reporting. Those who see governments’ reactions to the pandemic as exaggerated tend to claim that anyone dying with Covid-like symptoms is logged as a victim of the virus even in the absence of a positive test result and despite the severity of co-morbidities. They often go further and claim that hospitals are incentivized to keep Covid numbers high, due to the increased compensation they receive for coronavirus…read more

Coronavirus : Update 22 from the Epicenter

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OK, so the results are in on the world’s clinical trial testing the effectiveness of vitamin D3 on the outcome of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital. The study,  “Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study,” was published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on 29 August The trial involved only a small number (76) of consecutively admitted patients), however the procedures utilized were robust. Although this was…read more

Coronavirus : Update 21 from the Epicenter

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Today I’m taking a look at why the United States Covid-19 death curve is following neither the same trajectory as most European countries, nor that of most South American countries. It seems to have the same initial peak as Italy, but then a post-peak surge that matches Brazil: So, what’s going on? Well, first it’s worth understanding why Italy and Brazil are on such different journeys. The figure below shows the 4 classic curves for Temperate and Tropical climates in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Italy obviously has a Northern…read more

Coronavirus : Update 20 from the Epicenter

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It’s been more than 3 months since Update 19, and your experience over that time will depend on where you live. At the risk of generalizing, if you are in a relatively small European country with a strong central government that shut-down effectively then it’s likely that high infection rates were limited to one or two initial areas (Lombardy, Catalonia, Greater London), so you will have seen daily case numbers fall by >95% and stay low for several months : Whereas if you live in a large country with a…read more

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It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy Steve Jobs, 1983

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Coronavirus : Update 19 from the Epicenter

Posted by in Coronavirus

For the first 3 months of the outbreak I laboriously copied data by hand from Worldometers into an Excel spreadsheet and tried to identify interesting patterns to share with friends in Italy, Germany, the UK and US. This was particularly useful in the early days as we could report how badly the UK and US were underestimating the impact that the virus would have on their populations, and later on we could see how effective lockdown measures proved to be in the countries that implemented them quickly and early. Recently,…read more

Coronavirus : Update 18 from the Epicenter

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After several weeks in lockdown, several parts of the world are starting to ease restrictions on movement. Concentrating on our 4 countries, probably the graph which best illustrates this dynamic is our slowdown-chart. We’ll concentrate on cases as they lead deaths by 2-3 weeks : The US is yet to dip on its way to a million cases; the UK has levelled off; Italy has stalled, but without seeing a true decline, and Germany is in free-fall. There have been a few headlines recently predicting that the UK could end…read more