Wednesday, May 06, 2020

What's Happening

How many realise that the architect of the lockdown Neil Ferguson is an old boy of Llanidloes High School?  He's the same age as another OB, the actor who plays Ian Beale in the BBC soap Eastenders, perhaps they were contemporaries. Anyway, as in any mediocre soap, a blonde proved the downfall of Ferguson, while perhaps the country would have been better served if Mr Beale had been its chief advisor on matters pandemic.

The one reliable statistic amidst a deluge of facts and nonsense are excess deaths, the weekly comparison with this year's totals and those of previous years provided every Tuesday by the ONS. These show that up until week 13 of 2020 things were proceeding much as usual, there was a big jump in week 14 - but that was only marginally worse than the figure for week 2 of 2015.  For the last three weeks the figures have steamed ahead, peaking in week 16 (April 17) with a slight fall in week 17.  I'd expect them to fall again next week.

Of course these figures are time delayed by a week or so and the excess deaths  may also include victims of other diseases who avoided seeking prompt treatment for fear of contracting the virus. That said they do give an idea of the severity of the outbreak, serious but not overwhelmingly so, especially for the majority of the economically active.