If you’re interested in my garble about why this has all taken me so long to write to you again, please go to Inform Scotland YouTube channel and have a listen to my musings. Otherwise, please accept my assurances I have missed you all and not forgotten you.
You can look up all the stats on the spreadsheets linked on the website here, but I’m not making up tables of all the data since I last wrote to you. Too boring for here!
Graph 1 – Look at this: we are now entering a 5th wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections! This is really a schools testing frenzy effect we are seeing now, I’d think, as they return to school. Hopefully it will settle down, otherwise it looks even bigger than the summer wave we have just seen. You will see that last summer, we had no SARS-CoV-2. This summer has been quite a different story, ‘cases’-wise.
Where are all these tests being done?
Graph 2 – Well, for months now, you can see that the level of testing in NHS labs has been following a similar weekly pattern and has been pretty steady. Community testing, on the other hand, went through a surge in the summer, at the same time as we saw the surge in positives, and seems to be going through a similar surge now. Obviously, if people have symptoms because they are infected, they will seek out tests. But it is also the case that the more tests we do, the more positives (and false positives) will be returned. None of this really matters if we are not seeing a problem in the hospitals, but this logic seems to be lost now. We really are just testing for the sake of it.
What’s going on in hospital?
Graph 3 – Hospitalisations have also gone through a surge (which we did not have last summer), but it has been very much smaller than the January/February surge we had after the vaccine roll-out happened in January. Obviously, we’d expect fewer hospitalisations for a coronavirus in the summer than in the winter, but to see any was something of a surprise. The vaccine is widely being credited for the reduction in severity of the disease, but I’d say we need to wait to see what happens in winter so we are comparing like with like. We have had CV deaths this summer too, which was not the case last summer. Note the upwards trend in delayed discharges… we seem to be struggling to get people out of hospital.
More on hospitals….
Graph 4 – Positive tests are now not contributing to any trend in hospitalisations. This relationship had already become a little tenuous in the winter wave, but seems now to be completely inverted.
What about positivity? Are we just getting more positives because we are doing more testing? Not quite….
Graph 5 – Our positive rate is back up above ‘epidemic’ levels for 2 months now and is climbing again. This is a very different picture to what we saw last summer.
How is the weekly/daily positivity trend looking?
Graph 6 – Look at this! Same pattern of days of week, but positivity rate back up and consistently higher than since January. Quite shocking for summer time.
Graph 7 – Well, it’s a picture I think we could all guess. Lots of people are reported to have been vaccinated. First doses are slowing as they run out of people left in the population to vaccinate. And second doses are catching up and will presumably show a similar pattern. It appears from this that most people are having a second dose.
Graph 8 – Same info presented in a different way. Second doses continue to be delivered at a steady pace, which will certainly now slow. There was a real slowing in first doses over July and August, with a small rise seen recently, but back down to that background rate again now. This may change as we roll out this therapy to children.
ITU occupancy is a good measure of how much trouble we might be in…
Graph 9 – The four waves have become less severe, and we can see that there has been a rise (now over) in ITU occupancy this summer. Last summer we had zero ITU occupancy.
Stay tuned 💻
Stay sane 🧠
Stay strong 💪
Lots of love ❤