Hello and Happy New Year to you!
I just thought I’d update you folks as far as I could because the numbers have gone a bit nuts… limited data available over the holidays.
Now, obviously, as you can see in Graph 1, we have had an absolutely HUGE rise in the number of positive tests being returned by the labs. This is not good news. Nor have we EVER seen anything like this. Frankly, it is absurd to think we are seeing a genuine rise in cases like this nine months after the epidemic started.
I have posited on Twitter, to some disdain – but much agreement – that there is something very odd about the percentage positive rise, shown in Graph 2. All regions have observed apparently a simultaneous and equal-gradient rise in positivity since just before Christmas. This will be falling again after the Christmas period, I’m sure, because I really do think it’s unlikely to be sustained. A few people have said to me, ‘But, AHA! There will have been less, and more targeted, testing over Christmas! That explains it.’
Except that it doesn’t explain it. In Graph 3 you can see that there was the expected surge in testing before Christmas and now testing levels are back to much more normal. We still see this immensely elevated positive test count.
Graph 4 shows how the positive tests are still following the rises and falls in number of tests performed. But now they are elevated much higher than they were before.
What are the explanations for this?
We have seen a huge rise in transmission of the virus simultaneously in all regions.
There has some contamination issue in the labs, or they have changed their processes somehow that is making the tests more sensitive.
We have increased testing through NHS labs and decreased testing through Community labs simultaneously and there is suddenly a huge increase in hospital transmission, or appears to be due to an increase in testing in NHS.
The testing practices have changed entirely in terms of who is getting tested.
Graph 5 shows what is going on in the hospitals and with deaths etc. Really, this graph is becoming very messy. And it appears to be that we are seeing simultaneous rises in hospital and ITU numbers and deaths with positive tests. No lag as we have seen before. This rather seems quite illogical and supports my explanations 3 and 4 above. I will try and present this graph a bit better next time I show you it.
Lots of love
Stay sane Stay strong