Coronavirus – Day #168

Today’s excitement was that the car wouldn’t start. That’s no huge surprise. The battery loses charge at a ridiculous rate and if I can’t take it for long runs regularly this will happen. Every so often I need to spend time sorting it out.

However, today I needed to get some stuff from town, so I walked. That gave me a good view of how the town is adapting the pandemic life.

There were quite a lot of people about. Hardly anyone wore a mask outside, which wasn’t hugely worrying as most people kept their distance. Both of the main shopping malls had signs up saying that masks were obligatory, but a lot of people ignored this. Most of the culprits among shoppers were young people. However, hardly any shop staff were wearing masks, so how they expect the public to comply is a mystery.

Out in the world, the number of new virus cases continues to rise. The 7-day rolling average is now over 1300. In contrast, the number of deaths continues to fall. It is very odd. The daily death count has been below 50 since late June, but the number of new cases per day has more than doubled since the start of July, rising steadily all the time. There are a whole heap of theories as to why this might be the case, including a change in the age profile of people testing positive, improvements in how the NHS deals with patients, people being healthier in the summer, and even the 45 theory — too many tests.

The latter needs a bit of explanation. The UK has been very slow in making testing available, but the number of people getting tested has increased steadily, and the biggest rises have come from tests conducted outside of hospital. One of the ways that COVID-19 spreads so quickly is that many people who are infected are asymptotic and don’t realise that they are carriers. Initially almost all of the people who tested positive were in hopspital and already sick. Now most of the people testing positive are outside of hospital and may be quite healthy, or even asymptotic.

Who knows, really? We are still guessing a lot. There’s a whole lot more we need to learn about this virus.