Coronavirus – Day #39

Probably the most annoying thing about Lockdown is that, while I am coping well with the psychological side of things, every so often I have a day when my body says “enough”. Today was another one of those days. I woke up with a low-grade headache that has never quite gone away. So although I did get some work done, I didn’t do nearly as much as I’d hoped.

Oh well, thankfully there’s little screamingly urgent left needing doing.

I have a radio show tomorrow. One of the interviews is with my friend Daryn Carter who has had a pretty nasty case of C-19. It it he talks a bit about the rollercoaster recovery process. Relapses are common. I certainly feel a bit like that today.

But relapses affect countries too. The news media were apparently crowing this morning that the UK had turned a corner and beaten the virus, because we’d had two consecutive days when the death toll fell. It doesn’t work like that. Today we are back over 800 again. I was speaking yesterday with a friend who works at a hospital, and they were looking at May for peak load.

Meanwhile people are getting exciting over the Office of National Statistics data on deaths. The ONS has information on the total number of people who die each day, which they can compare with averages going back many years. We are significantly above average. The actual numbers of people dying are much higher than annual average plus offical government virus death toll. This has led to people claiming that the C-19 death toll is 41% higher than the government says, and to government supporters yelling “fake news”.

The first thing to note is that the numbers are not fake. All of those people have died. The official government death toll, currently at 17,337, refers only to people who died in hospital and who tested positive for C-19. That means that thousands more unexpected deaths have occured that cannot be directly linked to the virus.

Those people will have died for a variety of reasons. They may have had C-19 but were not tested. They may have died of other things because they had been weakened by a case of C-19. They may have died from something entirely different that might not have been fatal if the heath service hadn’t been massively overloaded at the time. 16 women apparently died in domestic violence incidents, which is more than twice as many as would be expected in that time period.

So you don’t have to have had a case of C-19 for your death to be linked to it in some way.