Saturday, October 16, 2021


Posting this mostly because some people seem to be under the misapprehension that the UK is doing really well at coping with COVID, at least in comparison to our European neighbours. It's simply not true, though it's hard to discern quite how poorly we are doing from most of the media including the BBC. This article in the FT presents some of the data, and I'll take some more from OWID.

While the rapid start of the vaccination campaign was certainly impressive and genuinely superior to the rest of the EU, we have now been overtaken by many of our neighbours.

That's us 2nd from bottom on that chart of major European nations.

Vaccination of children has been abysmal, both with the stupid delay due to JCVI's shilly-shallying, and then the slow roll-out. Boosters are running at about half the rate that the original vaccination was, so the backlog is growing rapidly.


Our own volunteer-run vacc centre was mothballed a while back, we could be doing a thousand a day no problem, but it's apparently not part of the plan.

Case numbers are far higher here than just about anywhere else in Europe. USA is comparable, which is hardly an endorsement.

And of course plenty of deaths too:

Yes, both France and Spain had a bit of bump in the late summer, but quickly got on top of it, which we haven't bothered to do. There's no sign of any improvement and in fact the recent case numbers are ticking up quite firmly, so we can probably expect deaths to follow. The deaths aren't really the only problem of course, the knock-on effect of pressure on the hospitals affects a much broader range of people who aren't even infected.

In case you are thinking optimistically that just about everyone must have had it by now and the numbers must be about to go down, I've seen it said that some regions of Iraq, the total number of cases to date is substantially higher than the population, i.e. many people have had it twice or more. Immunity doesn't last. Of course the severity of the disease is far lower after vaccination, and hopefully will also drop with prior infection. But it's not going to go away and the reluctance of the govt to take any action to help control the disease probably means we'll be stuck with very high levels for the foreseeable future.