One and One makes?

Or not?

You see, Daily Mail, although it is true that Omicron is less likely to make you so ill that you have to be hospitalised (especially if you were bright enough to avail yourself of the vaccine so readily available across Europe, which, sadly, not everyone was) it is also true to say that it is VERY much more transmissible. Indeed the numbers appear to double every day.

So, as Adam Kay (who’s an actual, y’know, medical doctor and incidentally worth a follow) points out:

Dear Daily Mail,

If virus A has half the hospitalisation rate of virus B, but the number of people with virus A doubles every two days, then hospitalisations from virus A catch up with virus B in two days.



So, not really vindicated, as shown by these figures from two days ago:


So, given that what we are trying to do is unblock some of the hospital beds for all the people who have had falls, or accidents or heart attacks or strokes or whatever and give all these people we clapped for for a minute every Tuesday night a wee bit of a break.

COVID-19: how to avoid skin damage while wearing PPE | RCNi

I’m told that Douglas Ross asked at FMQs for us to do what England is doing, or words to that effect.

What a mess Douglas Ross has made for himself - Euan McColm | The Scotsman

I’d respectfully suggest that these figures show that he should weesht..

27 thoughts on “One and One makes?”

  1. I think the 50% figure comes from Africa, the relevant to the UK bang up to date, hot off the press data was a higher % (66%?) and from Scotland. Two reasons they didn’t want to use that data.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. South African data, from a country that has:

      A much younger demographic; much less obesity; is drier (half the annual rainfall); is closer to the equator; it’s midsummer there.

      A perfect comparitor to dreich, midwinter Scotland?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, that’s the Daily Mail for you.

        Even were it true here, though, Dr Kay’s point still stands. If it transmits as fast as it is at the moment, hospitals will be asking for people to donate beds out of spare rooms, and any caravans they aren’t using.

        I wouldn’t like to be in London right now.


        1. The Mail is particularly bad Tris, but they’re not alone.

          People are, as a rule, fairly hopeless when it comes to data analysis. They’re easily hoodwinked by badly presented data, especially if it’s been tortured to fit a narrative.

          Left to their own devices, a lot of people have a terrible habit of zeroing in on a single datum, then using that to draw all sorts of inappropriate conclusions.

          In the early autumn, just as it did the previous, Scottish cases spiked ahead of England and Wales’ because of the difference in the schools’ calendars. Cue the “masks don’t work” frothers using a single comparison to “prove” their point.

          Over at the Guardian at the time, I wasn’t alone in pointing that out kids were back at school and theirs were still on holiday. The spike most likely linked to that, as it was the previous year. Sadly there all too many (a minority, but extremely vocal) that just won’t accept that too wee, too poor, too stupid Scotland is capable of doing anything better than good old England. I had one clown coming back at me with “ah, but Scotland has had more deaths per case”. Easily swatted away; we have the oldest population it the 4 nations, a worse obesity problem and a, well documented, reputation for underlying poor health going back decades, ergo more vulnerable people per capita. Not satisfied, said clown came back with some guff about population density; literally any straw will be grasped to show Scotland in a bad light. Like we’re all evenly distributed across all areas, including barren hillsides and submerged in storms skerries?

          I didn’t get a chance to point out that 80% of us live in the Central Belt and almost everyone else up the East coast and down the West. The Guardian, being the Guardian, had closed the comments section. The problem is that some people may have read the unchallenged comment, then taken it as read.

          The number of times I’ve seen combined case numbers, Delta and Omicron, used to justify arguments about Omicron alone is frightening.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Bang on, Drew. It didn’t take long for England to catch up once their schools went back.

            There is a point about population density. If you live in London it is far more difficult to avoid public transport and the large number of idiots who won’t wear masks on a crowded tube train.

            In the same way that if you live in a high rise on the 24th floor, can you imagine what i’s like trying to get there without sharing the lift?

            But of course, the tabloids are about as accurate on this stuff as they are on everything else.


  2. The right wing press and politicians in England see public health as a socialist plot designed to undermine their free market.
    They appear to be demanding the right to die and,under normal
    circumstances,they should be accommodated or possibly even encouraged.
    This is what is driving Tory government policy at present in England and limiting what actions the devolved governments can take.
    I dread to think what will happen in future when a more virulent virus washes up on the shores of Great Britain.
    Johnson is a lazy person by nature and always looking for a quick fix and has put many of his eggs in the vaccination basket,ignoring the need to have social behavioural measures in place to complement the clinical ones.
    Perhaps Tory supporters will eventually realise what it is they have elected to power and do something about it but I wouldn’t hold my breath,Thatcherism runs deep in England.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lazy and, if his Eton Housemaster is to be believed, absolutely convinced of his own superiority… this from a senior teacher in a school for the most privileged kids in England.

      “Boris really has adopted a disgracefully cavalier attitude to his classical studies . . . Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility (and surprised at the same time that he was not appointed Captain of the School for next half): I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It wouldn’t be so bad if it washed up on the shores & we couldn’t do anything about it. But, they’re practically inviting new strains in. Two years in and the air border is as porous as ever.

      It won’t be long before we find out if the Scottish and Welsh governments have overreacted, but as of two days ago, 40% of cases here were still the Delta strain. If they are wrong, the economy suffers a bit and little else.

      Meanwhile in libertarian Englandshire, you can’t even accuse them of doing nothing. They have actually reduced the isolation period from 10 days to 7. If this is the wrong approach; potential carnage, needless deaths and the economy probably takes a hit anyway.

      You’re absolutely correct about the vaccines too. They gambled heavily and ordered huge numbers of many vaccines before they really knew of their efficacy; played fast and loose with the regulatory protocols and got lucky. Very lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So tris you rightfully counter the
    Daily Mail with hard scientific facts.
    Unfortunately when did science, truth
    or even common decency find a home
    in the Mail.

    The Mail actually delights in vast mortality rates cos it shows how hard
    🇬🇧 the Brits are 👊….


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the Blitz spirit, Niko.

      I say, old chap, take it on the chin.

      At what point will they accept that the British figures are the worst in …wait for it … “Europe”.


  4. The narrative that this is now just like the flu seems designed to the economy over the line for Christmas. No mention of staff shortages, train cancellations etc. with large numbers off sick. They are probably betting on the relatively quiet between between now and New Year to hide the worst of the omicron wave and let things pick up again in early January.

    Unfortunately, if you look at the numbers from, since Dec 1st 2,180 people in the UK didn’t get to join in with the festivities this year. If you extrapolate those numbers for a year (an exaggeration I know) that’s around 30,000 who won’t see 2023. The reduced death rate (75% down on previous waves) seems in line with all those 50%, 33%, 75% figures happily banded about in the media. It’s still pretty bad no matter how you spin it. How the spin doctors of death sleep at night is beyond me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The increased hospitalisations and as you say, the falling down of the economy because people can’t get to work, or have to stay off because a member of their household has this highly transmissible virus… and the amount of worry for older or sicker people doesn’t appear to concern them.

      Best do nothing and have another drink….


  5. You can see the Tory government’s fingerprints on the editorials in the newspapers and television reporting of the virus in the past couple of days. This variant is very infectious.

    I am having to alter my travel plans for New Year as three friends in London have become infected over the past two days and so are isolating. They are very cautious and follow the guidance by wearing masks etc. They are gutted having to do this at Christmas and not having visitors. They met up for a Christmas lunch on Monday and by Wednesday they felt unwell and took a test and each, positive. They think the restaurant was the place they caught it. I am giving London a miss this New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very wise, Marcia. I’m worried that all this “it’s just like a cold” nonsense is encouraging people to ignore the virus.

      It may be a lot milder, and for some may be as of nothing… as indeed the original virus was. Many people just had a loss of sense of smell and a bit of a temperature even 18 months ago… but for some it ends much less happily.

      And as I’ve said before, who knows if the person beside you in the supermarket has an underlying illness or perhaps an immuno-depressed kid or parent at home, and the “bit of a cold” you pass on to them, will kill that person?

      For some Christmas will be miserable. I can understand that, even although I personally couldn’t care less. But it’s better to spend a while alone than to spend a week or two in a high dependency ward at a hospital with a massive respirator in your throat.

      Munguin has decided that we’ll have “All Our Yesterdays” tomorrow to make up for the solitude because underneath it all, he’s really quite an agreeable animal.


      1. “Munguin has decided that we’ll have “All Our Yesterdays” tomorrow”

        A wee reminder, I believe Soppy Sunday has already been promised! 🙂

        There may be a bottle of prosecco with my name on it in the house this weekend…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Soppy Sunday was always going to be on the cards… but additionally, Munguin has said that All Our Yesterdays was to be published as well.

          He can’t be doing with all this nonsense of days off, just because it’s Christmas.

          As he says, if you want a week’s wages, jolly well work a week!

          He says he may pop over. He’s fond of Prosecco… or more or less anything else that’s free.


      1. I imagine that they are encouraging people to think that our government is being too cautious, and the English government is being more sensible, so Scots people will say “sod that” and disregard the law/regulations, and then the Scots figures will rise and they can say, “told you, all the precautions did nothing”, should have stuck with good old Boris, while not reporting the 12 hour waits for ambulances in England.

        I have to say the British Blitz Spirit seems decidedly weak comparted with some of our friends on the continent who are taking this seriously, because they genuinely care about their health service workers.


        1. A wee bit of the Blitz spirit in London, I phoned one of the three that are isolating and he tells that his neigbour is providing Christmas lunch. He also said to me that one of the other who is in isolation is also getting lunch tomorrow from a neighbour. The other one is cooking for herself having had a neighbour do her shopping.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s super.

            The thing that is very concerning for people isolating at any time, is how they get food and other supplies they need.

            I hope that they will all be fine and get to celebrate Christmas together, even if it’s not on December 25.

            Tell them all that Munguin sends his sincere good wishes.


  6. James Dewar
    UK coronavirus:
    New cases with positive test:
    England: 107,055
    Scotland: 6,215
    Wales: 3,292
    Northern Ireland: 3,227
    United Kingdom: 119,789

    Per capita, the English figure is around twice ours.

    So, Why can’t we be like England, DRoss? Simple. We don’t want to double the strain on our health service.


  7. On an international level, Douglas Ross is special among party leaders in being a person with a lower profile and recognition level than the leaders of smaller parties.
    He’s a county councillor promoted far beyond his humble abilities due to a stunning lack of talent in his party.
    That’s impressive.
    Merry Christmas to everyone.
    Nollaig Chridheil dhan a h-uile duine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. He is the most talented in his party, one assumes, given that they had to move him from England to Scotland rather than promote someone in Edinburgh… and then they had to promote an English MP into his junior ministerial post in London, given that there was no one else who could manage to open a red box.

      Abair Nollaig mhath.


  8. In England on the 21st Dec, 42 hospital admissions aged 0-5, 46 aged 6-17.
    999 in December so far for child admissions.


  9. Two island states United Kingdom v Japan

    United Kingdom 67 m
    Japan 125 m

    Population density
    United Kingdom 281 per Km2
    Japan 340 per Km2

    Total covid-19 deaths
    United Kingdom 147,573
    Japan 18,383

    Never say “World-beating” again


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