If you like to watch a video on this, please see the YouTube Inform Scotland channel. I’m working on a new platform as a back up too.
Graph 1 shows we are still wandering around in the foothills of a SIXTH wave and Graph 2 confirms there has been a distinct new wave of positivity in the tests. The case numbers we saw at the peak of the January 2021 crisis are now like a dream, and we are also now consistently at the level of positivity we saw in January too. Why is this? How can there be so much virus about now compared to previously? Isn’t it strange??
Newly tested individuals have fallen in number recently and are back down to levels we saw last autumn, seen in Graph 3. This, combined with the data shown in Graphs 1 & 2, shows a mixed picture. It means we are showing fewer people showing up for a test for the first time, which indicates that there may be less symptomatic disease. But over the whole group, people are much much more likely to test positive. So this means there is either MUCH more virus present (or something that brings back a positive result) in those newly tested individuals, or that those having repeated tests (like healthcare workers (or people who are happy to submit to testing repeatedly)) are testing positive more often. It is really quite bizarre. Just a reminder (I know you don’t need one) that about 90% of our adult population is now vaccinated.
Graph 4 shows that delayed discharges in hospital are sticking at a number 50% higher than last year as we headed in to winter. Hospital occupancy is dropping rapidly (especially in Glasgow – see Graph 5) over the last few days, but for the first time, deaths aren’t following hospital occupancy. Deaths are rising, if anything.
In Graph 5 we see a collapse once again in hospital occupancy in Glasgow. We have seen this before. It is quite strange and doesn’t look natural. It’s good news, presumably, but hard to imagine what brings such a sudden drop about.
Graphs 6 & 7 show that ITU occupancy is spread out across the boards but not falling overall.
Something weird is going on with the relationship to positive tests and ITU occupancy… to be honest, I have about 8 theories as to what it might be and I won’t bore you with them here. You might have your own. Comment!
Graph 8 shows how hospital occupancy compares this year to last year. This latest 2021 wave seems to be subsiding a little now, but is certainly comparable to the second wave in 2020. There has been more hospital occupancy this year than last, and that’s using the falsely high count from 2020 in the summer which was corrected in September. What a terrible situation for us to have had so much hospital occupancy in the year of the vaccination.
Graph 9 shows a comparison of covid deaths. There have been more this year than last year. It’s 4735 to 4578. It looks like they have taken a big downwards swing, but that is just because there is a delay over the weekend in reporting deaths. They seem to be flat but we’ll see with the next report.
Back to scrutiny of the testing in Graph 10. Last week (week 44) was absurd: Tuesday’s positive percentage was twice that of Thursday’s. You can see we have never seen such a consistent lack of consistency in the results. This is certainly indicative of some strange practices in the testing and the results don’t look particularly trustworthy. We have never had a satisfactory answer as to what is going on in the labs to produce the higher percentages at the start of every week. It leads to questions of whether what we see now is a true epidemic in any sense or just a testing artefact. It might possibly be that it is because they process different groups of tests on different days, in which case it would be handy to know what groups are consistently returning much higher positivities.
Community testing looking more normal again in Graph 11 – so even with fewer tests to process they are struggling to provide reproducible results (if that is the cause of the problem in Graph 10). We are still doing far too many tests, which aren’t conferring any predictive data on serious illness (as seen in Graph 7).
Graph 13 shows that even as the number of community tests has dropped (an indication that symptomatic illness in the community has dropped), the percentage positive has remained high. Does this mean that there is more infection in the community, but fewer are coming forward for testing? Or are people in the community more aware that they should only come forward for testing if they have actual covid symptoms? Or has something happened to favour positive results coming back which has nothing to do with true infection?
Graphs 14 and 15 show the vaccination data for first and second doses. Look at how the first and second doses have both now ground to a halt, just as we hover at a very elevated but fairly level (if rising slightly) number of positive cases. We had a negative number of first doses delivered the other day, which is interesting.
Stay tuned 📺
Stay sane 🧠
Stay strong 💪
And remember I love you! ❤